Report Points to Product Turmoil in the Nissan-Daimler Partnership

report points to product turmoil in the nissan daimler partnership

A report in a Japanese business publication claims the partnership that gave us the Infiniti QX30 crossover — built on the same MFA platform as the Mercedes-Benz GLA — won’t yield a compact Infiniti luxury car, as was planned.

This isn’t a case of bad blood between the two automakers, however. The United States just isn’t a ripe target for such a vehicle anymore, apparently, and the vastly uncertain trade situation doesn’t help.

The report in Nikkan Kogyo, picked up by Automotive News, claims America’s thirst for light trucks and increasing disdain for passenger cars brought the project to a screeching halt. Trade was another strong consideration for executives, the report stated. The unnamed model was to be built at the joint Nissan-Daimler assembly plant in Aguascalientes, Mexico.

You can see the problem here — a pricey vehicle in an increasingly difficult segment facing the prospect of being saddled with import duties. Hardly a product execs could confortable go through with.

While Nissan wouldn’t comment on the supposedly kiboshed vehicle, Infiniti spokesman Trevor Hale told Automotive News, “The cooperation between the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance and Daimler is solid and we continue to reap the benefits of our successful cooperation, which includes a number of R&D and manufacturing initiatives around the world.”

The Aguascalientes facility (known as the COMPAS plant) opened last year, and currently builds the next-generation QX50. That model rides atop a jointly-developed platform. It was both automaker’s intent to produce next-generation luxury small cars at the facility.

In January of 2017, a Reuters report revealed signs of cold feet at Nissan. According to sources close to both companies, the automaker reportedly suspended work on Infiniti vehicles sharing Mercedes-Benz’s new MFA2 platform, which first appears in the upcoming A-Class sedan and (for Canadian customers) hatch. The new platform will underpin the next-gen Mercedes-Benz GLA and other small cars (B-class, CLA).

However, a source told Reuters that high technology costs made Nissan think again.

“It wasn’t possible to close a deal on the basis of MFA2,” said the informant. “The targets set by Infiniti were too difficult to achieve.”

[Image: Nissan]

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  • Serpens Serpens on Jul 06, 2018

    The QX50 DOES NOT ride upon a jointly developed platform. It's riding on an upgraded platform that Nissan uses across its small/midsize FWD offerings. The future of Infiniti is largely FWD.

  • TMA1 TMA1 on Jul 06, 2018

    Nothing says Japanese luxury more than Mexican assembly.

    • Saturnotaku Saturnotaku on Jul 06, 2018

      German, too with Audi's new facility in the state of Puebla.

  • Tane94 are both eligible for federal tax credits? That's the big $7,500 question.
  • Jkross22 Toenail says what?
  • MaintenanceCosts This sounds like old-school GM drama!
  • SCE to AUX It's not really a total re-badge since some of the body parts are unique, and the interiors are quite different.As I mentioned the other day, the Tonale has a terrible name and a dim future.As for the Alfa team - guess what, this is how corporate ownership works. You are part of Stellantis partly because you're not viable as a standalone business, and then your overlords decide what's shared among the products.By the way: That Uconnect infotainment system found in Alfas was originally a Chrysler product... you're welcome.
  • Kurkosdr Someone should tell the Alfa Romeo people that they are a badge owned by a French company now.The main reason PSA bought FiatChrysler is that PSA has the technology to enter the luxury market but customers don't want a French luxury car for psychological/mindshare reasons. FiatChrysler has the opposite problem: they have lots of still-respected brands but not always the technology to make good cars. Not to say that if FCA has a good platform, it won't be used in a PSA car.In other words, if those Alfa Romeo buds think that they will remain a silo with their own bespoke platforms and exclusive sheet metal, they are in for a shock. This is just the start.
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