RAC Cars News


Renault-Nissan Embarks Upon Joint Venture With Mitsubishi

By raccars Published

Major auto manufacturers long ago cottoned on to the benefits of pooling resources when it comes to new ventures. The massive costs related to new vehicle developments can largely be defrayed by sharing technologies with other firms, without too much impact upon competition for market share. One major corporate alliance that has seen mutual benefit is Renault-Nissan, which has now decided to go a step further, by linking up with Mitsubishi. Among the projects considered, are a couple of saloons and a smaller electric vehicle.

Nissan and Mitsubishi already have a successful history of collaboration, and one recent venture saw them join forces in 2011 to revive the Japanese Kei car concept. The Nissan Dayz and Mitsubishi eK Wagon are, so far, only available in Japan.

However, the broader alliance between the two Japanese companies and the French giant means a greater degree of technology and engineering processes will be available to all three. The main aim for the trio is to share the modern generation of platforms and the most advanced electric powertrain technology. Alongside the development costs, corporate alliances tend to offer savings in manufacturing too.

A couple of new saloons will be the first recipients of the trio's collective automotive experience. Renault will be supplying the lion's share of the mechanics but the cars will be badged Mitsubishi. There will be a medium family car / D-segment sized vehicle, that will be aimed strictly at North America and built in Renault's South Korean factory, while a smaller, C-segment style car, manufacturing location undecided as yet, will be launched globally.

Meanwhile, Nissan and Mitsubishi will be working on a new small electric vehicle, also for the global market. The pair are believed to be drawing upon their experience in the Japanese Kei car sector for inspiration.

Renault-Nissan chiefs estimate development and manufacturing savings in the region of €4 billion as a result of the alliance. The Franco-Japanese venture is keen to broaden its product line up without the usual corresponding costs. The company is also working on extending its operations in Russia by joining up with local firm, AvtoVAZ, of Lada fame, to the tune of a 74.5% stake in the company.

Meanwhile, the new generation Twingo will benefit from a collaboration with Smart and its parent company, Mercedes-Benz. While Renault and Nissan have joint stake interests in each other, co-operation with Mitsubishi will be on a manufacturing, rather than an investment basis.

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