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Renault and Nissan buy tech firm Sylpheo

By raccars Published

Nissan leaf

Car giants Renault and Nissan announce latest move in quest to develop new tech-based services.

Nissan Motor Co and Renault SA are buying software development firm Sylpheo as the car giants compete with tech firms and global car manufacturers to come up with new services. The Japanese and French car makers said that the acquisition of the French company would increase the duo’s capabilities in terms of cloud engineering and software development.

A new era of technological advancement

Sylpheo’s 40 consultants and engineers will be absorbed as part of the sale as Renault and Nissan look to develop new technologically advanced services, including car-sharing and ride-hailing.

Ogi Redzic, the senior vice president for Connected Vehicles and Mobility Services with Renault-Nissan said that the Sylpheo workers, comprising cloud engineers and software developers, would be given ‘a unique’ chance to work on the car giants’ next generation of advanced technologies and connected cars.

Redzic said the engineers and consultants would have ‘a critical role’ as the global automobile industry undergoes ‘tremendous change’

Car makers from General Motors to the Toyota Motor Corp have been investing in mobility start-ups and software firms in a bid to be at the forefront during the new era of ride-sharing, autonomous driving and connected services which will inevitably change the standard vehicle ownership model which has been prevalent over the last century.

Sylpheo will be central in the development of the Renault-Nissan alliance’s applications for use within its connected car services. A spokesperson for Renault said that the acquisition of the company was part of a drive to recruit 300 technology experts in order to compete efficiently in the mobility services sector.

Renault and Nissan are driving forces

These connected car services will be integrated with the Alliance’s autonomous driving technologies. This summer, Nissan unveiled a package of semi-autonomous driving capabilities for a Japanese minivan model. This allows the vehicle to navigate congestion and travel on one-lane motorways.

Nissan and Renault want to launch over ten vehicles using autonomous driving technology by 2020. Nissan aims to have functioning autonomous multi-lane driving capabilities by 2018, including the ability to change lanes, and further functions to allow for comprehensive urban driving, including turning at junctions, by 2020.

The Renault-Nissan Alliance explained

Renault and Nissan became strategic partners in 1999 and together sell over a tenth of all cars in the world and employ almost 450,000 people. They control nine of the major car brands. These are Renault, Nissan, Samsung Motors, Infiniti Renault, Mitsubishi Motors, Lada, Venucia, Datsun and Dacia.

In 2013, the car group came only behind Toyota, the general Motors company and the Volkswagen group in terms of total volume of vehicles sold, delivering 8.3 million cars across the world. Since 2010, the Alliance has been at the forefront of the market for electric plug-in vehicles and its line-up includes the Nissan Leaf, which has won the title of the world’s best-selling plug-in car ever made. Up to this summer, over 230,000 Leafs had been sold.

The Nissan and Renault partnership is based upon a cross-shareholding consensus and had a unique structure when the agreement was initially made during the 1990s. It later became a model for the likes of PSA Peugeot Citroen and General Motors, Mitsubishi and PSA Peugeot Citroen, and Suzuki and Volkswagen, although the latter was not a success.

Over time, the Alliance broadened its scope, forming partnerships with other manufacturers such as Russia’s AvtoVAZ, China's Dongfeng Motor and Germany's Daimler. The idea at the core of the Alliance is that cross-investments mean that both companies act with the financial interests of their partner in mind but maintain their own independent corporate cultures and brand identities.

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