Daimler, Renault and Nissan might close deal to build Mercedes passenger cars.
Production of the jointly manufactured vehicles is expected to begin in 2016 in eastern Europe, and could include cars of Nissan’s premium brand Infiniti and small Mercedes off-road vehicles. Details about the project might be decided by the end of this year.
The partnership includes Mercedes, Nissan, Smart, Infiniti and Renault and the automakers’ brand identities will not be affected. The tie-in is aimed at reducing costs on shared parts, but each automaker will continue engineering in specific parts to assure differing characteristics of their products.
“Our skills complement each other very well. We know that we can make brand-typical products based on shared architectures. The individual brand identities will remain unaffected,” said Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board of Daimler.
Daimler and Renault-Nissan predict the deal will save each automaker 2 billion euro over the next five years. A similar tie-in between Daimler and BMW had to be broken down in 2011 due to differences in engineering for small cars and engines. The Daimler-Renault partnership is based on Project Edison, which is an initiative to create a platform for the production of next Smart Fortwo, Forfour and the Renault Twingo.