Renault In Serious Talks With Daimler

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

Remember when Japan’s Nikkei said: “The latest round of partnerships is widely seen as just the beginning of a major shakeup of the auto making industry?” A kind of Japanese company, Renault (partner of Nissan) is engaged in heavy petting with yet another partner.

Reuters says French carmaker Renault is in talks with Daimler and others about partnerships. Areas covered include engines, transmission platforms, and access to new technologies, Renault COO Patrick Pelata confirmed today. He added: “We are discussing serious matters with Daimler.”



A Daimler spokesman had the usual milquetoast “We speak to various manufacturers, including Renault, about possibilities to cooperate.” Adding “including Renault” is slightly unusual.

Both companies need help.

Daimler AG saw demand for luxury cars collapsing in the second half of 2008. In the January-to-November period of 2009, sales were down 11.8 percent at 1.02m cars sold worldwide.

Despite profiting heavily from various European cash for clunker schemes, Renault’s passenger car sales in the first 11 months of the year are down 2.1 percent to 1,852,917 vehicles.

On top of the malaise, there is this green trend that costs a lot of green in development money. You want to spread that across as many units as possible.

Pelata said that carmakers should “try to share the costs of access to new technologies, like the electric vehicle, batteries, fuel cells — anything that is very expensive … and which is a fixed cost but which they don’t want to abandon because they think these technologies could be necessary in the future.”

What’s more, both companies are looking with trepidation at 2010. All forecasts, including Pelata’s, say that next year, the European car market will contract as the C4C wears off. Pelata sees a 10 percent downturn for Europe in 2010. For key markets like Germany, a 25 percent drop is expected by several industry associations.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href="http://www.tomokoandbertel.com"> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href="http://www.offshoresuperseries.com"> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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  • Levi Levi on Dec 17, 2009

    “The latest round of partnerships is widely seen as just the beginning of a major shakeup of the auto making industry?” The words of the prophet are written on the subway walls...and in the journals of Nekkei apparently.

  • FromBrazil FromBrazil on Dec 18, 2009

    When I read the headline I was ready to jump into this all hot and heavy, but reading the article I see this nothing new. Renault-Volvo V6 anyone. Wow, it does add to page virews (I guess), but having such an extreme headline then such business-as-usual content. Help me TTAC, I'm not getting any younger! For those of you who might not be familiar w/ my beliefs and what I write here on TTAC, I mean, when I saw that headline WTF Daimler getting it's paws on Renault. NFW. Great that the rest of the article revealed that

  • Redapple2 Flyer: Caveat. Subaru. Near 9 inches ground clearance and near Land Rover AWD system, They can do some impressive things off road. (I m not talking Moab trails).
  • Corey Lewis The short truck is terrible. The tire blocks all rear visibility while making the tiny bed very tricky to access. And the wheels on it look like they're from 2002. Other than that, I really like the idea of the Grenadier and it seems like a good effort. I wouldn't buy one because of the tractor recirculating ball steering, which makes it terrible in everyday use.
  • Bjohnson10 Coast to Coast by the Jesus and Mary Chain. It's only about someone on a cross-country motorcycle trip while high on heroin.
  • Funky D A few from my road trip playlist: Eddie Rabbitt - Drivin' My Life AwayAmerica - Ventura Highway---Herb Alpert - Route 101Jerry Reed - East Bown and DownEddie Money - Shakin'Lindey Buckingham - Holiday RoadWar - Low RiderTears for Fears - Everybody Wants to Rule the World (Not a driving song per se, but if you've seen the video, you'll get it)Wang Chung - Wait (Gotta see the end credits of "To Live and Die in LA", for this one)
  • Ronin Or can sedans be saved from themselves? Modern sedans have very low entry and seating, and unnecessarily downward sloping rear roofs. This may have been a sleek design center 25 years ago, but it's nice to have an alternative to SUVs for the olds (ie, anyone over 30).
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