Brussels, Belgium – Daimler AG and the Renault-Nissan Alliance have announced a strategic cooperation that will see them share and co-develop numerous products, including the next-generation Smart Fortwo, and Daimler gasoline and diesel engines for use in Infiniti vehicles.
The groups announced an equity exchange that will give the Renault-Nissan Alliance a 3.1 per cent stake in Daimler, and give Daimler a 3.1 per cent stake in Renault and 3.1 per cent stake in Nissan.
The successor to the current Smart Fortwo, a new Smart four-seater and the next-generation Renault Twingo will be engineered on a jointly-developed architecture, but with clear differences in product design. All will use the rear-wheel drive currently used in Smart. The new models are planned for 2013 onward, with models also to be available with electric drive.
In powertrain, the Alliance will provide three- and four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines to Daimler, which will be adapted and modified to reflect Mercedes’ characteristics. Daimler will provide four- and six-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines from its current portfolio to Infiniti, while the companies will also cooperate on future gasoline and diesel engines.
The companies have also agreed on a close cooperation in the light commercial vehicle segment. Mercedes-Benz Vans will offer an all-new, entry-level model from 2012 onwards, with its technical basis supplied by Renault and the vehicle built at the Renault plant in France. Selected powertrain components will also be shared to enlarge midsize van product offerings and sales volumes, including a small diesel engine and transmission which Daimler will procure from Renault-Nissan for its midsize Mercedes-Benz Vito van.
The cooperation committee will be co-chaired by Carlos Ghosn and Dieter Zetsche, and steered by senior executives of the three companies.