By on March 17, 2010

Time to break out the (tasteful) shibari pictures. “Nissan would seriously consider joining a comprehensive tie-up between Renault S.A. and Daimler AG if the alliance they are discussing happens,” says The Nikkei [sub]. With Renault and Nissan tied-up both at the hips and on top, such a move would make more than just sense.

Yesterday saw refreshed rumors of a tête-à-tête between Renault and Daimler. It appears as if plans of joint production of small cars have expanded into discussions of stock swaps.

“If Renault concludes a comprehensive tie-up with Daimler, I suppose Nissan will join the alliance,” said Nissan executive to the Nikkei, while pointing out that Renault has a 44.3 percent stake in Nissan, which procures all its parts with the French automaker. Nissan is also strong in small and electric cars.

The Nikkei is already rearranging the list of the world’s biggest automakers: “Nissan and Renault sold a combined 5.67 million vehicles worldwide last year. Had Daimler’s sales been added, the number would have risen to 7.22 million. This would have made the three-way alliance the world’s third largest last year, behind the Suzuki Motor Corp. Volkswagen combination at 8.59 million, and Toyota Motor Corp. at 7.81 million.”

Cyotto matte, kudasai, (“wait a minute, please”) this is not the way it works. Minority partnerships don’t count, certainly not partnerships of less than 10 percent, as it could be the case here. OICA, the official keeper of worldwide production numbers, doesn’t even count Nissan and Renault as one. On their last published list (for 2008, 2009 isn’t out yet,) they have Nissan at #6 and Renault at #11.

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12 Comments on “Renault-Daimler Tie-Up? Nissan Wants a Threesome...”


  • avatar
    L'avventura

    A Nissan-Daimler tie-up makes more sense then a Renault-Daimler. Renault has very little overlap with Mercedes in terms of vehicles platforms and technology can be shared between each other, perhaps other then the A-class or B-class that is.

    Nissan has Infiniti, and RWD platforms, not to mention larger displacement engines. Moreover, Nissan has SUV platforms that can be shared with with Mercedes, they already use the Jeep platform for their ML-class.

  • avatar
    NickR

    At risk of angering the moderators; I’d be more inclined to say that shibari picture is fucked up.

  • avatar
    jimboy

    My god, when will people learn, Daimler is not your friend. I hope Carlos has a really,really good prenup.

  • avatar
    kitzler

    How fast can Daimler ruin its good name, just do a tie up with Peugeot or Renault. That happens, I am dropping Mercedes from my list of candidate future automotive purchases, sorry, I don’t think french auto engineering is up to snuff.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve Biro

      Believe me, German auto engineering is no day at the beach, either – particularly at Daimler. I scratched Mercedes off my list of potential auto buys years ago. Daimler’s name is already sullied in my book. Time for that arrogant group of elitists to wake up and smell the coffee.

  • avatar
    kitzler

    Hey Steve how come BMW, and I have never owned one, how come BMW has no problems going it alone? then look at Audi, it is really hot here in the States, and GM is even re-badging Opels into its US line-up? Sorry, I don’t share your opinion on the Germans, maybe quality control is not up to snuff, but they know how to put fun into driving, as for the French, well it’s the constant trip to the repair shop, if you get my meaning.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve Biro

      kitzler… I won’t argue with you on the fun-to-drive quotient of many German cars. I WANT to like them. But many French cars are fun as well. Your concern about reliability with French cars is certainly justified. But German cars have a very bad reputation in this regard as well – and the German automakers still seem to be in denial about it. And it’s not just assembly quality. It’s design flaws and bad electronics.

      VWs and Audis are known headaches (and these are cars I would otherwise have on my list). Talk to many BMW owners who keep their vehicles after the warranty expires. Sure, there are exceptions. I suspect I’ll get 15 BMW owners swearing their cars are drop-dead reliable. But, on average, you’d better make sure you have a compassionate, non-dealer mechanic if you plan on keep a BMW for a long time.

      Mercedes? I think the word is out about them. Their reputation has suffered in recent years – particularly after the era during the early 2000s when they were rushing out cars before the software for many of their electronic programs was even fully written. They claim their reliability problems are behind them. A few Mercedes owners I know will tell you otherwise. But Daimler still thinks its cars are the best.

      If the reliability factor could be taken care of, I could be interested in certain VWS, Audis and possibly a BMW or two. Mercedes cars, in my humble opion, are now designed for people who equate complexity with luxury. Some BMWs are like this as well. Not for me.

  • avatar
    kitzler

    All right Steve, thanks for your profound dissertation about German cars, I agree your points are well taken, I had Mercedes in the eighties, and they were fabulous;

    Now what would you feel would be a good compromise? I had Asian products, they are nice, reliable, but they take most of the fun out of driving, you also know my feel about French machinery, any thoughts of what I should be focusing on, if I want fun to drive and decent reliability?

  • avatar
    Steve Biro

    It’s funny… I’m actually in the market right now and I’m trying to figure this out myself. The Mazda3 and the Honda Civic Si are considered the enthusiast’s default vehicles in the compact segment. Either can be had for about 20K. Unless you opt for the trubocharged MazdaSpeed 3 for about 25K. Incredible fun.

    If you need bigger than that, the Mazda6 seems worth trying out on a test drive. Many say it’s the most fun to drive among the mid-sized family sedans. Reliability, while acceptable, doesn’t seem in the same league with Honda. I have some interest in the Honda Accord Coupe but I haven’t driven one yet. The sedan is just too ugly for me.

    My 2001 Subaru Impreza was fun to drive and I was pleased with the Legacy I rented for a week a couple of years ago. But if you need an automatic in the 2010 Legacy, it’s a CVT which saps some of the fun out of it. Subarus with manual trannys can be a lot of fun – especially the turbocharged ones. But know that Subarus, while pretty reliable, still include a few occasional sqeaks and rattles.

    Many swear by Nissan Altimas – offered in both coupe and sedan form. Manual trannys are offered in both – but the automatics are CVTs.

    I am also interested in some of Hyundai’s newer products, like the Genesis Coupe and even possibly the new 2011 Sonata. I’ll have to drive them before judging them. My wife has a 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe that has been 100% reliable.

    It’s not for everyone, but the Ford Mustang – particularly with the new engines coming out for 2011 – gets good reviews. And Ford’s reliability has been very good lately. It all depends on whether the Mustang is for you.

    Speaking of Ford and if you want a sedan, I have to wonder what the Fusion Sport with the 3.5-liter V6 is like to drive. 6-speed automatic only – but it has manual mode.

    If I could afford it – which I can’t – I must admit I’d buy a Cadillac CTS Coupe.

  • avatar
    kitzler

    Steve, at the risk of being out of sync, what I would most enjoy is to be able to lease a current model year or a year old car from a dealer and be able to get the feel of it, so I could tell whether it is for me or not. the reason you can’t do that, besides the horrendous paperwork and additional costs, is that all cars have nice features, as well as horrible features. And what you like one day may not be what you will like tomorrow, depending on the road, the weather and drivers around you.

    Cars are getting too complex, if we still drove stick shifts, the Toyota mishap would be a non-event, all you would have had to do would be to step on the clutch. The thing I miss most about my Mercedes was that I knew within an inch where the periphery of my car was, front, back and sides, I could pull up to a car close enough so our rearview mirrors would touch, the Mercedes rear wiew conveniently snapped back and did not get damaged, chrome facing instead of plastic.

  • avatar
    Steve Biro

    What you say is very true.


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