Daimler and Nissan may announce some serious platform sharing, t.b.a. either today or tomorrow on the sidelines of the Frankfurt Motor Show. Bloomberg has heard that Daimler “is considering sharing its small-car platform with Nissan Motor Co.’s Infiniti brand.”
The wire says that “the potential to expand cooperation between Infiniti and the German company’s Mercedes-Benz division may be discussed tomorrow at a joint press conference by Daimler Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche and Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn.” Actually, it might be today. There is an intimate press briefing scheduled for today, Sept. 14 early afternoon . We won’t be there (I refused to get my derriere from Tokyo to Frankfurt), but we will update you.
Both Ghosn and leading executives at Nissan and Renault had been dropping heavy hints over the last few months that the cooperation with Daimler is progressing very well, and that a big announcement should be expected. It did not sound like a joint procurement of headliners.
Nissan/Renault’s Carlos Ghosn is especially proud of his loose alliances and said privately and semi-officially that buying other car companies is so last millennium and that his way is the way to go. When he says it, it becomes clear that he is thinking of the tanking Volkswagen-Suzuki partnership, and of Fiat-Chrysler which is missing the boat when it comes to emerging markets. Ghosn never misses a chance to remark that the only cross cultural alliance that really works is Renault and Nissan.
In April 2010, Daimler, Nissan and Renault had announced a three-way tie-up, with token single-digit cross-share holdings. The alliance was initially focused on small cars, which become increasingly important. They also need considerable volume to be profitable. As we had told you here and here, the threesome agreed on co-developing new generations of Daimler’s Smart and Renault’s Twingo. Daimler had also agreed to supply engines to Infiniti.
Unless the press briefing has been moved, you will know more today.