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Daimler, Renault/Nissan Could be Open to Alliance with Fiat Chrysler

Six years in, Daimler and Renault/Nissan continue to expand their partnership.

by on Sep.16, 2015

Daimler's Dieter Zetsche and Renault/Nissan's Carlos Ghosn brief reporters on their growing alliance during a meeting in Frankfurt.

Increasingly frustrated in his bid to merger with General Motors, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne might consider an alternative in his bid for better economies of scale.

At a media briefing called to discuss the results of their own, six-year partnership, Daimler AG Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche and Renault/Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said they would be open to the possibilities of adding FCA to their successful alliance.

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“Any single opportunity we have in front of us…we will entertain,” said Renault/Nissan’s Ghosn.


Mazda or Scion or Fiat? Alliances Are Changing the Face of the Auto Industry

Automakers partner up to cut costs, expand product lines.

by on May.28, 2015

The new Mazda Miata was developed as part of a joint venture with Fiat.

When the new iA comes to Scion showrooms later this year, it will mark the first time Toyota’s youth-oriented brand has offered a sedan.

To bring it to market, Scion sought out some help, largely repurposing a 4-door model developed by smaller Japanese automaker Mazda. Toyota also will use the subcompact Mazda2 as the starting point for the next version of its small Yaris model – which will be assembled at a new Mazda plant in Mexico.

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Confused? You’re not alone.  It takes more than just a scorecard to keep up with the convoluted alliances in today’s increasingly competitive auto industry. Hoping to add more models to their line-ups while at the same time driving down costs, traditional competitors are finding advantages to working together.


Daimler Alliance with Renault-Nissan Set to Double in Size

“Corporate friends with benefits.”

by on Oct.03, 2014

Everyone is all smiles after the latest installment of the "Carlos-and-Dieter Show" at the Paris Motor Show.

The 5-year-old alliance between Daimler AG and Renault-Nissan is set to double in size during the next six years, top officials predicted during a news conference at the Paris Motor Show.

The partners have already entered into a variety of joint ventures, including the development of several new microcars and the production of new gasoline and diesel engines. They will begin work on a new, shared assembly plant in Mexico next year, a facility that will eventually produce new compact luxury cars for both Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz brand and Nissan’s upscale marque Infiniti.

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Appearing together for what has become an annual update they call the “Carlos-and-Dieter Show,” Daimler Chairman and CEO Dieter Zetsche and Renault-Nissan Alliance CEO Carlos Ghosn said they now have 12 different ventures going, up from the original three, and that is only likely to grow. (more…)

GM Sells Stake in Peugeot

Move follows decision to scale back – but continue alliance.

by on Dec.12, 2013

Peugeot and GM maintain a more distant relationship than originally planned.

Hours after announcing it would scale back – but continue – its alliance with PSA Peugeot Citroen, General Motors revealed it was selling off its 7% stake in the troubled French automaker.

Without those economic ties, industry observers say there appears to be even less of a reason for the two manufacturers to continue any long-term affiliation beyond the two product sharing deals and a few smaller arrangements they currently plan to move ahead with.

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GM initially purchased its stake in Peugeot last year at a time when the two makers expected they could achieve $2 billion in savings by working together.  Both companies have been losing billions in Europe in recent years. But since initially inking their alliance both have shifted strategies, raising ongoing questions about whether they could meet their original goals.


Is a McLaren Honda Headed for Showrooms?

Maker look to extend their F1 track partnership to the street.

by on Aug.02, 2013

McLaren CEO Martin Whitmarsh with his Honda counterpart CEO Takanobu Ito, as they announced their new F1 partnership.

They’ve already announced a formidable alliance on the track, but according to new reports Honda and McLaren just might have some aspirations for the street, as well.

The two new Formula One partners have been sending some mixed signals, but McLaren’s CEO broaded hinted last weekend that it might be interest in an opportunity to “collaborate” with Honda on what would likely be a very high-performance vehicle.

Honda already has one coming in the form of its Acura NSX supercar which is expected to return to production by late 2014. Notably, the reborn NSX will rely on a new, three-motor hybrid drivetrain. McLaren, in turn, adopted a hybrid system for its latest entry, the million-dollar P1 ultra-car.

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It was barely three months ago that the two makers agreed to pair up on a “full, open and productive” Formula 1 program that will be ready to run by the 2015 season. In a joint statement issued on May 16th, they cautioned, “all our focus is towards the development of the 2015 Formula 1 car and powertrain, and there are no plans for collaboration on other projects at this moment.”

Of course, anyone who follows the auto industry knows better than to take “no” for an answer, especially in an age when collaborative efforts are the norm, rather than the exception.


Mercedes-Benz, Aston Martin Partner Up

Might a deeper alliance be in the works?

by on Jul.25, 2013

The retro-futuristic Aston Martin CC100 concept could hint at ideas the new partners will develop into future products for the British maker.

Two classic European luxury makers, Mercedes-Benz and Aston Martin, have decided to team up in a deal with wide-ranging opportunities. They’ve signed a letter of intent to work together on a new technical partnership and hope to have the final papers signed by year-end.

The move could prove a critical one for Aston Martin, the British-based maker that is struggling to define its future even as it celebrates its centenary.  The announcement of the new deal raises as many questions as answers, however, and could foretell an even broader alliance if the initial partnership work out.

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“We are proud to work with Aston Martin,” said Ola Kallenius, the head of Mercedes-AMG GmbH, the high-performance arm of Mercedes-Benz.

Under the new partnership, AMG will provide Aston with some of its powertrains and electrical systems, while the British maker also will gain access to other Mercedes performance technologies.  Significantly, the Germans appear to positioned to take a role in the development of future products from Aston Martin.


BMW-Toyota Sports Car to Debut in Tokyo

The goal is to “exceed all expectations.”

by on May.21, 2013

Senior officials, including Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda and BMW Chairman Nobert Reithofer, celebrate their expanding alliance.

What do you get when BMW and Toyota set down to develop a sports car? We’re apparently about to find out, their joint effort reportedly set to make its eagerly awaited debut at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show.

The midsize sports car is one of several projects that the German and Japanese automaker have announced as part of a growing alliance first announced in 2011. Among other things, the two makers plan to work on fuel cells, lithium-ion batteries and hybrid technology, while BMW is now providing diesel engines for Toyota to use in its European line-up.

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“I get so excited thinking about the cars that will result from this relationship,” Toyota chief Akio Toyoda said in January.

So do a lot of industry observers waiting to find out precisely what the two partners have in store.


General Motors, Ford Form Unusual Alliance

“Big Two” partnering on new, high-mileage transmission.

by on Apr.15, 2013

GM and Ford have formed a new alliance to develop a high-mileage 10-speed.

General Motors and Ford Motor Co. have formed an unusual alliance designed to help them meet increasing stringent fuel-economy standards by jointly development a new 10-speed automatic transmission.

The announcement underscores the increasingly difficult challenges manufacturers face as they shoot for a 54.5 mile-per-gallon mandate set to take effect in 2025.  That has led a growing number of automakers to set aside traditional rivalries and form potentially far-reaching alliances aimed at development new engines, transmissions, even entire vehicles that can be shared among various brands.

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The new gearbox envisioned by GM and Ford will be utilized on a variety of different front- and rear-wheel-drive products, the makers said, noting their shared goal of bringing the technology to market sooner, and at a lower cost, than if they worked together.

“Engineering teams from GM and Ford have already started initial design work on these new transmissions,” said Jim Lanzon, GM vice president of global transmission engineering.


Mazda Lines Up Alfa, Toyota While Looking for More Alliance Partners

by on Jan.21, 2013

Mazda's new deal with Alfa will help both makers develop new sports cars - including a replacement for the current Mazda Miata.

Little Mazda is lining up some big partners.

Struggling to regain its footing after the collapse of its decades-old alliance with Ford Motor Co., the Japanese maker has been looking for new opportunities and, in recent months, it has inked several potentially lucrative deals that could help it flesh out its product portfolio and shore up its bottom line.

The latest deal pairs Mazda with Alfa Romeo, the struggling subsidiary of Italy’s Fiat SpA. Last week, the two confirmed that Mazda will use one of its Japanese assembly plants to produce a new sports car both for its own dealers as well as Alfa’s.

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Separately, Mazda has signed a deal with Toyota that will see the smaller maker produce vehicles for the Japanese giant at a new factory in Mexico.

“I think you’re going to see us do more alliances where it fits the brand,” Jim O’Sullivan, CEO of Mazda’s U.S. subsidiary, tells


GM May Back Away from Alliance with Peugeot

Talks aimed at expanding alliance put on hold.

by on Nov.14, 2012

GM's turnaround plan for Opel included new products like the Adam, plant cuts and an expanding alliance with France's Peugeot.

After 14 years of massive losses, General Motors is hoping to turn things around for its German-based Opel brand by closing plants, adding new product – and teaming up with the equally troubled French automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen.

The deal announced by the two makers last February was expected to save each at least a billion dollars by sharing product development, component production and more. And as recently as during the Paris Motor Show, in September, GM and PSA were hinting they saw the opportunity to take things even further.

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Now, it appears, GM isn’t quite so sure.  The U.S. giant is reportedly putting on hold talks aimed at expanding the alliance, the Reuters news service indicating there’s concern about Peugeot’s commitment in light of the multi-billion-dollar bailout it will now get from the French government.

A GM spokesman confirmed the original alliance is moving ahead, “as planned,” but declined to discuss efforts to expand the partnership.