With Suzuki and Volkswagen suing each other over a failed alliance, all eyes are on the Nissan-Renault and Daimler partnership, which represents yet another affiliation between a Japanese and German brand.
Speaking to the automotive media today, Nissan’s Executive Vice President, Andy Palmer, said the two companies made “a conscious decision not to talk about it (the collaboration) until it was real”. Without mentioning the Suzuki Volkswagen ordeal specifically, he added that some manufacturers form alliances “promising the earth, but delivering nothing, so everything we talk about with Daimler has to be real”.
So far the relationship has spawned Renault-built light commercial vehicles, which are badged as Daimlers and seen continued collaborative research on fuel cell technology.
Nissan’s luxury brand, Infiniti, will also benefit from the alliance; taking three engines (V6 diesel, four-cylinder diesel and petrol) from Daimler (which owns Mercedes-Benz, Smart, Mitsubishi Fuso, Freighliner and others) to give it a better chance in the diesel dominated European market.
The deal between Daimler and Nissan-Renault also adds an interesting twist for both sides, as neither is at a disadvantage in regards to future powertrain technologies.
“Beauty of Nissan having an alliance with Renault and collaboration with Daimler, means we have access to all (petrol, hybrid, electric and diesel) technologies” Mr Palmer said.
He was adamant that whilst diesel is a dominant force in some markets today, it may not remain as such for the long term future “as you reduce co2 emissions further, doing it on a diesel engine becomes more expensive (than hybrid)”.
Nissan-Renault CEO, Carlos Ghosn, also agreed that the Daimler collaboration had been a “very fruitful relationship”. He said there are “so many domains where we are working together, signing contracts and delivering product. Everybody is working for his own company, but people can see what you can get for your own company by working with somebody else, so far Daimler has been a great story”.
Even though the Nissan-Renault Daimler collaboration has only been active for about two years, products, engine and technology sharing has already taken place. A far cry from the fruitless and bitter outcome which resulted from the Volkswagen and Suzuki deal.