By on April 7, 2010

So today, Renault, Daimler, and Nissan did what we said they would do and announced a three-way tie-up. Which is good, because we are running out of inappropriate pictures. The marriage goes far beyond the exchange of symbolical stock holdings.

According to Automobilwoche [sub], the Renault-Nissan Alliance will get 3.1 percent of Daimler, in return, Daimler will get 3.1 percent of Renault and 3.1 percent of Nissan. That pretty much equals the value of the rings in a marriage. What is more important is the scope of cooperation between the three.

There was no shortage of grand announcements. Dr. Z. waxed lyrical about “common interests in many fields, which provide a promising foundation for a successful, strategically sensible cooperation.“ He expects „strengthened competiveness in the sub-compact and compact field, and a reduction of CO2 emissions. Brand identities remain untouched.”

Ghosn was a bit less Wagnerian and said „ The Renault-Nissan-Alliance is has experience with successful co-operations, and that helps.“

Other than the production of grand announcements, there will be many joint projects by the happy threesome.

As presaged here again and again, the new generation of Daimler’s Smart and Renault’s Twingo will be joined at the hip. New cars are expected in 2013. Daimler’s Smart works in Hambach, France, will build the two-seaters. Renault’s factory in Novo Mesto, Slovenia, will be responsible for he four-seaters. No surprises there for the attentive TTAC reader. The diminutive cars will be available in electrified versions right from the get-go.

Then, there are the engines. The Renault-Nissan Alliance will bring into the marriage small diesel and gasoline mills with three and four cylinders. Other than being used in the Smart/Twingo twins, Mercedes will also use them in their A and B Class.

Daimler will provide bigger bore diesel and gasoline engines to be used in Nissan Infinitis.

In addition, the merry threesome will cooperate in the design of future engines.

There will be some tête-à-tête in the van business. Daimler will rebadge a small Renault van as Mercedes.

Conspicuously absent: The usual green announcements of joint development of planet-saving technologies, batteries and powertrains. Not a word.

One minor item, pointed out by the ever so vigilant Nikkei [sub]:  The French government has to shake loose some Euros to buy 0.55 percent of Renault SA shares to keep its overall stake in the carmaker above  15 percent. This keeps the French government as Renault’s biggest shareholder, just a bit ahead of Nissan, which owns 15 percent.

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23 Comments on “Renault, Daimler, Nissan Say „Oui“, „Hai“, „Ja“ In Three-Way Tie-Up...”

  • avatar


  • avatar

    “The Renault-Nissan Alliance will bring into the marriage small diesel and gasoline mills with three and four cylinders. Other than being used in the Smart/Twingo twins, Mercedes will also use them in their A and B Class.”

    This is kind of similar to what GM did when they started putting Chevrolet engines in Oldsmobiles and Buicks, therby diluting the images of those “premium” divisions. Will the typical Mercedes customer accept an “inferior” (in their mind) Renault/Nissan engine in their premium German subcompact?

    • 0 avatar

      MINI buyers have been buying cars with Chrysler-derived-made-in-Brazil (1st gen) and Peugeot-derived (2nd gen) engines. Not fully developed by BMW.

      I see no issue in Dumbler using Renault or Nissan engines in their small cars. For smart customers, it actually will be good, because I’m sure Renault spares are more “cost effective” than those from Mercedes.

      My question is what is going to happen to “cheap, mass market” V6s like the VQ series and if Daimler has any rights on the new Pentastar engine.

  • avatar

    I doubt the typical Mercedes customer will have any idea whose engine they’ve got under the hood. They’ll just assume Mercedes made it, if they even bother to think about it.

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    BS, you really are a bit twisted….in a good way.

  • avatar

    So, no mention of sharing the tech from the Leaf? Interesting.

    I think it’s safe to assume that there is no direct link from PETA to TTAC…..

  • avatar

    This seems like an amicable deal for all involved. Pooling resources on new small cars will surely make the final product better. Since Daimler’s stake is relatively small and their new partners have shares in them, history won’t repeat itself to the tune of DaimlerChrysler, a tie-up that always called to mind the most inappropriate, NSFW bondage imagery.

  • avatar

    Bunny bondage…

    is it oh-so wrong or oh-so right?

  • avatar

    I received the corporate email from Dr. Z this morning about the deal. I can’t comment much. I will say as far as I know into the future the Renault/Nissan engines will not be in any of the U.S. Mercedes vehicles. Mercedes is aware of their unique identity here. Currently the A and B Class vehicles are not available here. That could change of course but there are no plans that I know of. The Smart is a brand of it’s own as most know. It could benefit greatly from the alliance. The Smart has been struggling to become profitable. This could be the shot in the arm that is needed.

  • avatar
    A is A

    “The Renault-Nissan Alliance will bring into the marriage small diesel and gasoline mills…Mercedes will also use them in their A and B Class”

    A Mercedes B class with a Renault engine?. WTF??????:

    “Renault cars had the second worst reliability record (70%), closely followed by Fiat.”

    In the 1980s small Volvos (300 series) used Renault engines. Dealers had a hard, hard time answering to prospective customers how it was possible their expensive Volvo 300 having the same 1721c.c engine that the inmensely cheaper Renault 9/11 TXE.

    Te Renault 1721c.c. was -at least- reliable. Current Renault engines are NOT reliable.

    • 0 avatar
      Mr Carpenter

      That same 1721cc SOHC engine was used in the AMC Renault Encore and Appliance – whoops, I mean Alliance, in 1985-1986-1987.

      Interesting that AFTER the tie-up with Nissan, than Renault engines seem to have gotten LESS reliable than before (and they were not necessarily top flight before, in any case, though I had a 1995cc SOHC four in a Renault 20 which was quite reliable until the car got old enough to fail it’s MOT in England).

      But then again, Nissan doesn’t ever seem to have been able to consistenly even get close to Subaru, Toyota or Honda for generally reliable engines or vehicles.

      Nissan, Renault, Mercedes-Benz – why don’t they call it ‘AXIS MOTORS’ and be done with it? A ‘marriage’ truly made in hell.

    • 0 avatar
      A is A

      “…though I had a 1995cc SOHC four in a Renault 20”

      I still have one of those 1995cc (carburetted) in my “collector car”, my dad´s 1985 Renault 25 GTS. The 1995 got fuel injection later for the 25 TXI or the 21 TXE. Even carburetted I managed to get 8 liters/100km, and it was very easy to drive thanks to a broad power band.

      Indestructible engine. Still works fine after 25 years of service and +100000 miles.

      The same can not be said about 21st century Renault engines. Threads about the Laguna II or the Megane I and II in Renault forums are a cavalcade of mechanical/electrical/electronic nightmares.

    • 0 avatar

      Well to be fair, things have changed a bit lately.
      Renault touched the bottom end in 2001-2002 with the Laguna2, which was full of high tech gizmos that weren’t working from day1. But things are picking up recently and these 2-3 last years, they’ve been quite good…

      Renault has been bragging about the ADAC report (which is a benchmark in Europe):

      That represents the proportion of breakdowns per modelyear, for 100 of these on the road. 325.000 calls per year, stats made the german way.

      You can see that the recent Renaults got much better… check out the Scenic and Laguna for example.

  • avatar

    Daimler needs to create a sub-brand, from Mercedes, or expand the smart brand with the new small car platform.

  • avatar
    Mr Carpenter

    They tried expanding the SMART brand using a tie-up via Chrysler (called Mitsubishi), in Holland. The SMART for Four was based upon the Mitsubishi Colt and built at a joint venture or possibly under a contract, I’m not sure. Ironically (to the prior comment), this Dutch factory is the one which had built the DAF later Dutch Volvo 300 series cars. Now, Mitsubishi run it alone.

    Daimler-Chrysler did what they’ve done many times previously and pulled out of the joint venture or contract with Mitsubishi, leaving them high and dry with overcapacity for Mitsubishi Colt in Holland.

    With friends like that, who needs enemies?

    Other JV’s which have had one partner “bail” on them are:

    Diamond Star: Chrysler bailed on Mitsubishi, leaving them holding the bag (seems like a trend, to me….)

    SteyrDaimlerPuch (Austria): Chrysler pulled out, leaving SDP and owner Magna, kind of high and dry… they think Canadian and US exports to Europe will go down fine…. newsflash: Chryslers and Jeeps aren’t selling in Europe any more (Studebaker syndrome, partly)

    CAMI (Ingersoll, Ontario): Suzuki has been bought out by GM as part of a divorce settlement. New beau for Suzuki, Volkswagen, has a new car factory under construction in a southern US state as we speak…

    NUMMI (GM bailing, Toyota closing but spending their money to do it)

    Subaru-Isuzu (Isuzu, controlled by GM, bailed and interestingly enough, Toyota eventually came along and invested in Subaru in order to use the excess capacity to build extra Camry cars in Lafayette, Indiana alongside Subaru Legacy and Outback vehicles)

    Given these last two, it seems to me like Toyota have been very good corporate citizens in the United States. But, nobody asks me, so….

    Dominoes still to fall:

    Auto Alliance in Flat Rock Michigan (who’ll get the baby? Ford, for production of Mustangs? Or Mazda, for production of Mazda 6’s?)

    The brand new Kaluga (sp?) Russia JV plant shared by Mitsubishi and Peugeot. (Mitsubishi has had a lot of bad luck with their hook-ups, haven’t they? The “near merger” of Peugeot Group and Mitsubishi Motors is apparently “off”).

  • avatar
    Dr Strangelove

    They should go all the way and make Ghosn CEO of Daimler.

  • avatar

    To Mr Carpenter re “Axis Motors”:

    You must be confusing Renault with Fiat.

  • avatar

    I’d like to know the Google search words that yielded that gem of a picture.

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