Renault, Nissan, Daimler ink alliance deal

08:11, April 08, 2010      

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Carmakers Renault, Nissan and Daimler signed a deal on Wednesday to form a wide-ranging alliance of jointly developing small cars and engines.

Under the deal, Renault and Nissan, which have already been in an alliance for 11 years, would take a 1.55 percent stake respectively in the German carmaker Daimler, while Daimler would take a 3.1 percent stake in each of the other two partners.

However, the cross holding of shares was largely symbolic. The essence of their cooperation was to develop small cars jointly and share gasoline and diesel engines.

Speaking at a joint news conference following a signing ceremony in Brussels on Wednesday, Daimler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche said that rising demand for small cars was a key driver behind the alliance.

"Since the small and compact vehicle segment is so highly competitive and price sensitive, we also need to have the right cost structure," he said.

It was estimated that by pooling together their technology and resources, the Renault-Nissan alliance and Daimler would benefit from the scale effect, with 2 billion euros (about 2.7 billion U.S. dollars) to be achieved in cost savings and additional sales over the first five years for each side.

Zetsche said the alliance would also seek to expand their cooperation beyond the currently agreed areas.

"Right away we are strengthening our competitiveness in the small and compact car segment and are reducing our CO2 footprint, both on a long-term basis," Zetsche said.

"We will work together to examine further possible areas of cooperation," he added.

Renault Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn said the new alliance was just the latest step of the French carmakers' consolidation strategy.

"The name of the game is to be present everywhere," Ghosn said, "so we are going to move for more and more consolidation."

"Do not be surprised if we continue to add scale," he said.

Source: Xinhua


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