By on January 8, 2012

It’s not that the cross-sharing of technologies between Renault-Nissan has been a well-kept secret. However, it is good to hear that loose alliances between unlikely partners work, while a marriages made in the automotive compatibility heaven (we are looking at you, Volkswagen & Suzuki) don’t even get to the consummation part.

Renault-Nissan announced today in Detroit that its Decherd, Tenn., plant will build Mercedes-Benz 4-cylinder engines for Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz starting in 2014.

Read this sentence carefully.

Nissan will build engines designed by Mercedes Benz. The engines will be used in Infiniti cars. And they will be used by Mercedes-Benz. It is the first time that Merc. engines will be built in the NAFTA. That first happens in a Nissan plant. That’s more than a marriage, that’s an orgy between two. Well, three.

Production will begin in 2014, with installed capacity of 250,000 units per year once full ramp–up is achieved.

Mercedes will be using the engines starting in 2014 in C-Class cars, built at Daimler’s vehicle plant in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

The complete project announced last September amazingly is still on track:

  • Joint smart/Twingo architecture still underpins cars launched by Renault and Daimler in the first quarter of 2014. Two-seater smart vehicles will be produced at Daimler’s plant in Hambach, France, and four-seater smart and Renault production are slated for Renault’s plant in Novo Mesto, Slovenia.
  • A new entry-level city van for Mercedes-Benz is on schedule with launch planned late 2012. The Mercedes van will be made at Renault’s plant in Maubeuge, France.
  • The cross-supply of power trains intensifies.  The Alliance is supplying Daimler with compact three-cylinder gasoline engines to be used in smart and Twingo vehicles and four-cylinder diesel engines to be used in the jointly developed light commercial vehicle and in Mercedes-Benz’s compact cars. Daimler will supply Nissan and Infiniti with four- and six-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines and automatic transmissions.
  • Infiniti plans to base a premium compact vehicle on the Mercedes compact-car architecture, starting in 2014.
  • Daimler will provide batteries from its production facility in Kamenz, Germany, and Renault-Nissan will provide electric motors for the use in the jointly developed EV versions of the smart and Twingo. Those are expected in 2014.

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6 Comments on “Loose Partnership Between Renault-Nissan and Daimler Intensifies...”

  • avatar

    “Infiniti plans to base a premium compact vehicle on the Mercedes compact-car architecture”

    I thought the G was their compact. Isn’t it pretty close in size to the C-series? Does this mean a new, Mercedes-ized G ??

  • avatar

    Talk about ‘full circle’, who’da thunk it?

    By lineage, who would’ve thought that Infiniti and Benz would’ve been related to an AMC Eagle? (in Daimler’s case, in a roundabout way, twice)

    1983 – Renault purchases controlling interest in American Motors.
    1987 – Renault sells AMC/Jeep to Chrysler.
    1998 – Chrysler (along with all AMC model copyrights) merges with Daimler Benz.
    1999 – Nissan (in financial challenges of its own) enters an alliance with Renault S.A.
    2009 – DaimlerChrysler collapses, forcing a US taxpayer bailout (AGAIN, see malaise-era bailout of 1979) Fiat and UAW assume ownership.
    and now, 2012 – Renault/Nissan and Daimler AG partner up, in line with Mr. Ghosn’s disgust with an ‘unnaturally strong’ Yen.

    Bonus: Herr Zetsche’s 300C ad circa 2006:

    • 0 avatar

      There was no US taxpayer bailout in 1979. Private banks lent the money to Chrysler and were guaranteed against default by the government, in effect co-signing for the loans. Since Chrysler survived (and thrived) they paid the loans back to the banks years early with interest. No taxpayer money was ever spent. I guess the only reason they didn’t go this route again was the banks were in no condition to lend money, even if the government was to guarantee it.

    • 0 avatar

      This is a good one, LOL.

    • 0 avatar

      Am I the only person on the planet who actually enjoyed the “Dr. Z” ads?

  • avatar

    Moments after the photo + handshake was taken Ghosn was heard to say, “What happened to my watch?”. Somewhere in Germany a pawn shop has
    a Rolex President on display.

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