Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi to increase technology sharing
28 May 2020 - autocar
Alliance members to adopt 'leader-follower' mode, with each focusing on core regions and technologies
Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi have reaffirmed their commitment to their automotive Alliance, with the adoption of a new business model that will involve a massive increase in platform, technology and production sharing.
The future of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance had been in doubt after the arrest in Japan of former chairman Carlos Ghosn, the driving force behind the initiative. But after agreeing to maintain the Alliance in January, the three firms have now agreed a new deal.
Alliance chairman Jean-Dominique Senard said the new deal will greatly enhance the cooperation between the three firms and claimed that it will cut the costs of developing new models by up to 40%.
The Alliance members have agreed a new 'leader-follower' scheme that they say will greatly enhance efficiency through a substantial increase in shared production and development. Each will become the lead 'reference' brand in key regions and of key technologies.
Under the new deal, Renault will become the lead brand in Europe and will spearhead development of the next-generation B-segment SUV. Nissan will become the lead firm in Japan, North America and China and will develop the next-generation Nissan Qashqai-based C-segment SUV, which is due in 2025.
The new deal goes beyond platform sharing and will include the "upper bodies" of vehicles, with the production of models grouped together where possible. As recently reported, that is likely to involve Renault SUVs being built at the Nissan plant in Sunderland in the future.
"We will focus on efficiency and competitiveness, rather than volume," said Senard. "The new framework will allow each Alliance member to enhance its core capabilities and benefit from the capabilities of the other firms. The aim is to increase the profitability and competitiveness.
"The leader-follow model isn't about being a leader against each other; it's about each Alliance firm becoming a leader in the automotive industry."
Senard insisted that the new agreement showcased the strength of the Alliance. He added: "There is no doubt about how this scheme will work in the future. If there have been doubts in the market, there are no doubts today."