The partnership between Daimler AG and Renault-Nissan entered in the sixth year in 2015 and the original project portfolio of only three projects dedicated to european market has more than quadrupled to 13 projects on three continents. The newest cooperation line will involve EV smart fortwo and forfour.
Who could believe that a partnership between a volume and a premium carmaker will work? The partnership is “one of the most productive in the auto industry”, according to Carlos Ghosn declaration, despite the high skepticism in April 2010 when was agreed.
Mercedes had a bad experience in the past with Chrysler and Mitsubishi which were far behind in terms of technology. All Mercedes efforts and money were not enough to create a competitive range for Mitsubishi and Chrysler and the so called “Welt AG” was bankrupt.
The advantages of the new cooperation between Daimler and Renault are the complementary products.
In this sense, Dieter Zetsche, Daimler CEO, express the essence of the cooperation: “This year we further deepened the collaboration and announced two completely new projects. We cooperate when it is mutually beneficial. And that is the way we will keep it”.
The main highlights for 2015 are:
- Nissan and Daimler recently announced the 1 billion USD joint assembly plant in Aguascalientes, which will produce next generation premium compact models for Infiniti from 2017 and Mercedes-Benz from 2018. The plant is expected to produce more than 230,000 cars a year by 2020.
- The new 1-ton pickup for Mercedes-Benz based on the new Nissan NP300 (Navara). The Mercedes pick-up will share some of its architecture with the new Nissan NP 300 (Navara) but will be engineered and designed by Daimler for the specific needs of its customers from Europe, Australia, South Africa and Latin America. The Mercedes pick-up will be built by Nissan in Renault plant in Cordoba, Argentina for Latin America and at Nissan plant in Barcelona, Spain for other markets. The new Mercedes pick-up will appear before the end of the decade.
- The new Infiniti Q30: the first premium compact Infiniti is based on Mercedes MFA platform (Modular Front Antrieb), uses the Mercedes engines and will be built by Nissan in Sunderland plant until the end of the year.
The new thing is the cooperation for the electric versions of the new smart fortwo and forfour. Smart fortwo/forfour and the new Renault Twingo were the first vehicles built on a common platform between Daimler and Renault-Nissan. The EV versions of the smart fortwo and forfour will go on sale at the end of 2016 and will be powered by a electric motor produced in Renault Cleon plant in France, the same used also for the Renault Zoe. The battery of the new smart electric drive will be produced by Daimler subsidiary Deutsche ACCUmotive in Kamenz, Germany.