Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche said that Daimler is now open to a bigger cooperation with alliance partners Renault and Nissan and also aims for new projects with US electric carmaker Tesla.
While at an event to launch the Mercedes-Benz V-Class in Munich, Zetsche also hinted about the potential for working with Nissan’s premium brand Infiniti.
“We are in the final path of co-development regarding Twingo and Smart,” Zetsche said, referring to an existing cooperation deal in the subcompact city car segment. “That has not to be limited to one product and one segment. Others could be possible,” including compact cars.
As the Mercedes-Benz modular MFA front wheel architecture is used by the company to design a new range of small cars, the CEO pointed to Daimler also being open to sharing factory capacity with Renault Nissan for compact cars, if such an opportunity would appear.
“Mid-term or long-term — based on further ideas for this segment — we think that an addition of capacity is very likely, most likely necessary. And then there is the discussion where to locate that,” Zetsche said. He added that North America was a possibility.
He also expressed the fact that Daimler is open to cooperating with Tesla as the US company’s project leader was a former Mercedes executive – which leads to a good relationship with the automaker.