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Daimler, Renault Planning to Team Up

Makers anticipate saving billions through new partnership.

by on Apr.06, 2010

After a long wait, Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos appears to have found the third leg of the stool for his long-sought global alliance.

During a Wednesday news conference in Brussels, Belgium, German automaker Daimler AG is expected to announce the formation of a new partnership with the Euro-Japanese Renault-Nissan Alliance.

The makers reportedly will work on a variety of products, including a much-needed new entry for Daimler’s Smart car brand, as well as the development of vehicle components.  Industry insiders have been told the new partners anticipate savings could reach into the billions of dollars annually.

The proposed deal is not expected to have the grand reach of the now-abandoned marriage between Daimler and its former American partner, Chrysler; nor will it be as extensive as the Renault-Nissan Alliance, in which the two companies have extensive cross-holdings and now cooperate on most of their vehicle programs.

(Renault holds a controlling 44% stake in its Japanese affiliate, while Nissan holds a 15% stake in its European partner.)

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There likely will be some more modest stock swaps to add weight to the Daimler/Renault-Nissan venture, and they are expected to sync some of their product development programs, said a well-placed source.  But for the large part, the insider added, “They will continue to operate as independent companies.”