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Nissan, Daimler Reveal Plans for Joint Mexican Luxury Car Plant

At cost of around $1.4 bil, lines will start rolling in 2017.

by on Jun.27, 2014

Daimler AG's Dieter Zetsche, left, and Renault-Nissan's Carlos Ghosn shake hands after announcing plans to build luxury cars in a plant in Mexico.

Announcing the biggest project in their four-year-old alliance, Daimler AG and Nissan Motor Co. have confirmed they will jointly set up and operate a new luxury car plant in central Mexico. At a cost of 1 billion Euros, or close to $1.4 billion, it will begin operating by 2017, the makers’ two CEOs revealed during a joint news conference.

There will be two separate lines, one for each brand, at the new luxury car plant – which will be erected on a portion of the new factory complex Nissan opened in the city of Aguascalientes last November. The factory will eventually employ “nearly 5,700” workers and will have capacity to produce about 300,000 vehicles annually, said Daimler’s chief executive Dieter Zetsche and Nissan’s Carlos Ghosn.

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“Our biggest project yet,” stressed Zetsche, “it takes our partnership to the next level.” (more…)

Daimler and Nissan to Partner on New Mexican Luxury Car Plant

New factory will produce both Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti models.

by on Jun.27, 2014

Nissan opened up its Aguascalientes plant last year. But it left plenty of room to expand once it locked down its joint venture with Daimler's Mercedes-Benz.

Nissan Motor Co. and Daimler AG will announce a significant expansion of their four-year-old alliance this morning, the two partners planning to set up a new plant in Aguascaliente, Mexico that will produce small luxury cars for the Japanese maker’s Infiniti brand and the German manufacturer’s Mercedes-Benz.

The project, first reported last year by, takes the three-way partnership between Daimler, Nissan and French automaker Renault to a significant new level. The maker’s initially agreed to jointly produce engines and, among other things, develop a small car platform to be used for both Daimler’s Smart brand and as a replacement for the little Renault Twingo. Just this week, a new Nissan plant in Decherd, Tennessee launched production of engines for both the Infiniti and Mercedes brands.

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The new luxury car plant will be set up alongside an existing assembly line Nissan opened in the central Mexican city of Aguascalientes next year. Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn and Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche has previously both confirmed they were discussing the possibility of a new joint production facility but insiders say it took longer than expected to work out the details.


Infiniti Planning Q30 Concept for Frankfurt

by on Aug.08, 2013

The Infiniti Q30 Concept will make its formal debut at the Frankfurt Messe on the morning of September 10th.

Infiniti has rolled out a number of intriguing show cars in recent years, and one might be tempted to dismiss the Q30 Concept as nothing more than another styling exercise when it makes its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month.  That would probably be a mistake.

The maker has released a preliminary rendering of the Infiniti Q30 concept which, it notes, continues the styling evolution it has signaled with earlier prototypes like the Essence, Etherea and Emerg-e. But the fact that the Frankfurt show car will adopt the new Infiniti model nomenclature is probably a strong signal of what it really represents.

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“This Infiniti Q30 Concept is a prelude to the product portfolio expansion which underpins our aggressive global growth strategy,” said Johan de Nysschen, President of Infiniti Motor Company, Ltd. “In our quest to appeal to the modern, young-minded premium customer, the Infiniti Q30 Concept has a distinctive style and reaches new levels of product quality.”


Could Fiat/Chrysler Make a Bid for Peugeot?

Marchionne hints he may try to outbid GM for French alliance.

by on Feb.29, 2012

Might Fiat/Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne be the spoiler in talks between GM and Peugeot?

Might the Fiat/Chrysler alliance try to outbid General Motors to set up a global automotive powerhouse with French automaker PSA Peugeot-Citroen?

It’s clear that Fiat/Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne sees that as a potentially powerful alternative to letting PSA tie up with General Motors.  As reported this week, GM is apparently seeking a 7% stake in the French company, while the two partners would set up a series of joint ventures to develop new products and powertrains.

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But according to a report by Dan Howes, of the Detroit News, Marchionne is ready to step in as the spoiler.  He previously considered an alliance with Peugeot, having approached the French maker with the idea of an alliance during the Geneva Motor Show three years ago, even as Fiat was considering the option of buying GM’s struggling Opel division – then on the auction block.


Nissan, Mitsubishi Expand Ties

Makers plan to swap more products, including new version of Mitsu Diamante; unclear if Americans will see the results.

by on Sep.23, 2011

Mitsubishi will get a version of the Infiniti M to replace its old Diamante.

Few automakers are more intent on partnering with the competition than Nissan, which is stepping up its cooperative alliance with erstwhile rival Mitsubishi just two weeks after confirming plans to significantly increase its ties to Germany’s Daimler AG.

Nissan and Mitsubishi first agreed to help fill holes in each others’ product line-up in December 2010.  They will now expand the number of vehicles covered by that deal, they confirm.  Among other things, Nissan will get a new battery-powered commercial vehicle, while Mitsubishi will get a replacement for its flagship passenger car, the Diamante.

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The expanded alliance focuses on the two makers’ home market, a jointly-issued statement declaring, “These initiatives are intended to strengthen the competitiveness of both companies in Japan.”

It is unclear whether any of the products developed under the partnership will be marketed outside Japan.