Carmakers Renault-Nissan and Daimler have inked an agreement that covers cooperation on city cars, Renault Twingo and Smart, as well as on commercial utility vehicles. In addition to technical cooperation, the two automotive groups have signed for a share swap of 3.1 percent of each other’s capital. Following this partnership, Renault Mecanique Roumanie could supply gearboxes to the Daimler group. At the top end of the model ranges Daimler will give Nissan’s Infiniti prestige brand access to its four- and six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, but both companies said that the deal will not weaken the image of their brands. “Each brand has its own identity and its own kind of products and its own cost and price level,” said Carlos Ghosn, Renault-Nissan chief executive. There will also be cooperation in making vans, with Renault providing the basis for a new entry-level van for both brands and Renault-Nissan providing engines for the mid-sized Mercedes Vito range. Dieter Zetsche dismissed any idea that the cooperative deal would end up as a full-blown merger such as the Daimler Chrysler.
Market specialists say that this move leads to a more complete use of their capacities and sharing investments should reduce cost per unit and there will be benefits in developing small cars together.