The Japanese automaker Nissan and Germany’s Daimler shook hands to create a 50-50 joint venture in Mexico.

Nissan’s and Daimler’s joint manufacturing venture will build small, upmarket cars for the automakers’ Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti brands. The two car makers signed last month a memorandum of understanding regarding this plan, according to an anonymous source.

This is another example of how more and more automakers decide to team up to and help each other with the costs for research, development and manufacturing and therefore reach economies of scale. Although neither of the automakers confirmed the future joint venture, the source added that discussions between Nissan and Daimler have started more than a year ago.

If the two automakers will decide to cooperate, they might use a common vehicle platform to build next-generation, small, front-wheel-drive cars. It also looks like Nissan might manufacture all-new Infiniti  vehicles and the next generation Mercedes GLA off-roader at its plant in Aguascalientes, northeast of Guadalajara, also according to inside information.

“No decision has been made. We don’t comment on speculation,” said a spokesman for Daimler when asked about the future venture.

A new alliance between the two automakers will not be excluded as Mercedes, Nissan and Renault have started in 2010 to share plants, vehicle architectures and engines for small vehicles after Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche and Renault-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn shook hands on a broad-based partnership.

In 2012 Nissan  announced its decision to manufacture a first Infiniti vehicle which would be based on the existing Mercedes compact vehicle architecture. The production is expected to start in 2015 at the Sunderland plant, north-east England.


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