Report Points to Product Turmoil in the Nissan-Daimler Partnership

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
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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3 of 8 comments
  • 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.

  • Art_Vandelay “Fain also invited President Joe Biden to join the striking workers on the picket line”Yes. Please go on strike Joe. One of this Cosmo Kramer Bagel making strikes that lasts for a decade or so
  • SCE to AUX No sitting President should visit a picket line.
  • Scott So a sled manufacturer makes a sled on wheels. Where is the surprise?
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