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The strategic partnership between the Renault-Nissan Alliance and Daimler is entering its seventh year now, and bosses of the carmakers said that the relationship is “maturing” at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, while highlighting recent and upcoming joint projects.

“The partnership between Daimler and the Alliance has grown and matured. It is based on a spirit of cooperation and trust that has strengthened over the years. The results have clearly benefitted both partners. By sharing development and production costs, we have been able to enter new segments and offer our customers more compelling vehicles with the latest technology and features at more competitive prices,” said Alliance chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn.

His counterpart at Daimler agrees. “Over the last seven years we’ve established a partnership that extends from parts to platforms, from co-development to co-production and from cars to commercial vehicles. And we did so in project-oriented, diverse teams that share competences across continents. They are driven by the best ideas – may they originate in Paris, Stuttgart, or Yokohama. So, our future cooperation continues to hold great promise,” said Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the Daimler board and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.


The latest fruit of the relationship is the new smart Electric Drive range. The latest battery-powered fortwo, cabrio and forfour – debuting at the Paris show – have motors built at the Renault plant in Cléon, France. The batteries are produced by Daimler subsidiary Deutsche ACCUmotive in Kamenz, Germany. This generation of smart cars share a platform with the Renault Twingo, which is made alongside the smart forfour at Renault’s plant in Slovenia.

Speaking of joint production, Nissan and Daimler broke ground on the US$1 billion Aguascalientes, Mexico, plant in 2015, which will produce next-gen premium compact vehicles for Infiniti as of 2017 and for Mercedes-Benz from 2018. Staffing and equipping started in May and construction will be completed next year. The plant is expected to produce more than 230,000 cars a year by 2020.

Also involving Mercedes-Benz and Nissan is the pick-up truck project. In 2015, Daimler and Nissan announced the joint development of the first Mercedes-Benz pickup truck, which will use the Nissan NP300 Navara‘s platform. It will be engineered and designed by Daimler to meet the specific needs of its customers in Europe, Australia, South Africa and Latin America; and will have all of Mercedes-Benz’ distinctive characteristics and features, the German company said.

Production of the Mercedes one-tonne truck will take place at the Renault plant in Cordoba, Argentina, and at Nissan’s Barcelona plant in Spain, also the home of the NP300 and the rebadged Renault Alaskan.

Joint engine development and production in addition to engine cross-supply projects are in place in North America. The Nissan Decherd plant in Tennessee, USA, has been making engines for Daimler since 2014. The companies say that the Decherd plant has become an important pillar of Daimler’s flexible, global production network – in addition to serving local demand, it exports engines to Mercedes sites in UK, South Africa, as well as machined components to Germany.

When the Daimler-Alliance partnership was launched in April 2010, the scope of the original collaboration was limited to three projects, primarily in Europe. Since then, the combined portfolio shared between the partners is growing in all fields (products, engines and cross-supplying) in Europe, Asia and the Americas. The relationship has turned out to be a win-win for both parties, and barring any extraordinary problems, will continue to deepen.