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Daimler, Nissan and Renault Expand Global Alliance

“Nothing is off-limits” – except a full merger.

by on Sep.28, 2012

Daimler Chairman Dieter Zeetsche and Renault/Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn celebrate the expansion of their 30-month-old alliance.

Just about anything is possible as Daimler, Renault and Nissan announce yet another big expansion of their global alliance – except for the possibility of a full-out merger, the CEOs of the three makers said during a joint Paris Motor Show news conference.

The partners have rapidly added a wide range of new projects since first revealing a limited series of joint ventures in 2010. The latest move will see Daimler, Renault and Nissan jointly developing a new generation of compact engines while also sharing transmissions.

Meanwhile, Daimler could announce an even more expansive program before year-end that would have it share in a new assembly complex Nissan has already announced for Mexico.

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“Over time, we have built up so much trust we are working like hand and glove,” declared Daimler Chairman and CEO Dieter Zetsche, sitting alongside Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of both Nissan and Renault, who expressed similarly upbeat sentiments about an alliance the partners expect to save billions of dollars in the coming years – while also helping the makers rush new product to market at a faster pace.


Mercedes Near Decision on Sharing Mexican Plant with Nissan

“Potential pros and cons,” says Zetsche.

by on Sep.28, 2012

Zetsche is apparently leaning towards sharing a Mexican assembly plant with Nissan.

Daimler AG will “probably” announce by year-end a decision on where it will build a new North American assembly plant, Chairman Dieter Zetsche tells, and there is a strong possibility that the new factory will be part of a planned mega-complex alliance partner Nissan has already committed to in Mexico.

“We are investigating the potential of our plants operating together,” said Zetsche, confirming a story first reported by earlier this year.

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Daimler needs more capacity to supply North America and other markets , having reached the limits of what it thinks can be done out of its existing Mercedes-Benz assembly plant near Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Until now, Zetsche had only confirmed that it was looking at various sites in the U.S., Canada and the U.S.


Mercedes Expecting to Join Nissan in New Mexican Assembly Complex

Next step in partnership would produce Mercedes and Infiniti models for the Americas.

by on Jan.26, 2012

Mercedes-Benz revealed this early A-Class Concept at the 2011 NY Auto Show.

Copyright 2012

Nissan and Daimler are looking to take a significant step forward in their rapidly expanding partnership – the German maker expecting to set up a new plant that would be located adjacent to the new Nissan assembly complex going into Aguascalientes, Mexico, has learned.

The Daimler plant would be used to produce a wide range of small luxury products for both the German maker’s Mercedes-Benz brand and for Nissan’s Infiniti division, such as the Mercedes A-Class and Infiniti Etherea  – sources telling that these could include both conventionally powered and electrified offerings designed to help both makers improve their corporate fuel economy averages.

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Officially, neither Daimler nor the Renault/Nissan Alliance would discuss the plan, though a spokesperson for the German company referred to a recent comment by CEO Dieter Zetsche in which he confirmed that further joint ventures are under study.  The two makers decided to launch a limited series of efforts in 2010 and have since announced several additional joint ventures including one revealed early this month in which they will produce a new line of four-cylinder engines at the Nissan powertrain plant in Decherd, Tennessee.


Nissan to Double Sales of Leaf Battery Car in 2012

CEO says new Titan pickup coming; also says still more joint projects with Daimler likely.

by on Jan.10, 2012

Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn insists the battery car is far from a failure.

Nissan expects to double sales of its Leaf battery-electric vehicle in 2012, CEO Carlos Ghosn said during a meeting with members of the automotive media at the North American International Auto Show.

The make sold just 9,674 of the cars last year, its first entry into the nascent field of electrification.  But Ghosn downplayed the concerns expressed by many industry analysts, some going so far as to suggest battery propulsion has already proven to be a failure.

“The only reason we couldn’t sell more is because we couldn’t build more,” the Brazilian-born executive emphasized, suggesting the biggest issue was a shortage of batteries, and adding that “We’re expecting in 2012 to double that number.”

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He better hope so considering the commitment to battery power being made by Nissan and its French alliance partner Renault.  Globally, they plan to have production capacity in place for 400,000 battery cars annually by 2015, with a sizable chunk of that in a new facility Nissan is building alongside its existing assembly plant in Smyrna, Tennessee.