The Renault-Nissan Alliance relaunches joint projects

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The Renault-Nissan Alliance relaunches joint projects

Published on December 6, 2023 at 5:13 p.m.

Common-law union does not exempt proof of affection. After unraveling their complex links established within the framework of the Alliance, Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi want to show that they continue to work together. In more partnership mode, in “project mode”, according to the expression of the president of the Renault group, Jean-Dominique Senard.

A fairly usual way of doing things in the automobile industry, a sign of the normalization of relations between French and Japanese manufacturers, after years of tensions linked to unbalanced cross-shareholdings.

Wednesday, with the arrival in Paris of the two Japanese bosses as part of their bimonthly meeting with Renault, it was the opportunity to try to convince observers that the end of the Ghosn-style Alliance was not a divorce.

Together in the circular economy

“What we are doing today, in terms of size and impact, is much bigger than what the Alliance has done over the last ten years,” said Luca de Meo, CEO of the Renault group. In the past, we tended to do things with the aim of creating synergies, in a way that was too formal. And most of the time, this resulted in solutions that were not optimal for any of us. »

Executives confirmed upcoming partnerships. First, Nissan “considers taking a stake” in The Future is Neutral, the entity in charge of the circular economy created by Renault during the reconversion of the Flins factory, the groups announced in a press release .

The opportunity for Japan to equip itself with the capacity to respond to future European regulatory injunctions in terms of battery recycling and parts reuse in the automotive industry. The Renault group has also not ruled out welcoming other manufacturers to its table. The entity, presented in the fall of 2022, is targeting more than 2.3 billion euros in turnover at the end of the decade, and an operating margin greater than 10%.

A chemist in the recycling adventure

Luca de Meo believes he can reveal more precisely the contours of this future entity and announce the partners he will bring on board during the first half of 2024. A chemical industrialist should also participate in the project, in order to provide knowledge. how to recycle batteries.

“The fundamentals of the Alliance are also its common assets, like the platforms,” recalled Jean-Dominique Senard on Wednesday. Today, 60% of the three companies’ vehicles use Alliance platforms. » And this figure, he specifies, “will continue to increase”.

This is the second confirmation of the day: Nissan will continue to use Renault’s know-how and platforms for its utility vehicles beyond 2027, on the European market – just as Toyota uses Stellantis models on this Old Continent market. . But it is with the Swedish truck specialist Volvo AB that Renault has formed a partnership to develop its future electric utility vehicles.

Nissan and Mitsubishi’s confidence in Ampere

This is partly Luca de Meo’s victory: Nissan will call on Ampère, the entity specializing in software and electricity, to develop and produce its future electric city car, replacing the Micra. Nissan has invested 600 million euros in Ampère. “All this will contribute to achieving our objectives in our Ambition 2030 plan,” insisted Nissan boss Makoto Uchida. Alone, Nissan could not progress on the European market. »

For his part, the boss of Mitsubishi Motors, Takao Kato, confirmed that the group’s future electric SUV will be entrusted to Ampere, in which he has invested 200 million euros. All this does not prevent the Renault group from working with Geely, which owns 34% of Renault Korea Motor, to supply its factory in South Korea, for example.

Also on the thermal side, the Japanese will call on the ad hoc entity created by Renault, Horse, co-owned by Geely. Nissan will use Horse for 6 families of gearboxes and engines in 12 of its factories. Which represents “half a million pieces per year”, they specify. Horse will also supply “several other industrial customers”, including Mitsubishi Motors, the press release added. Joint projects have also been developed in South America and India.

At Nissan, Makato Uchida has a freer hand than before to support joint projects with Renault, after having defeated his internal adversaries who are very angry with the French manufacturer. At the end of the conference, he and Luca de Meo joked together. In recent months, during the negotiations aimed at dismantling the Alliance, the leaders had shown more tense faces.

The Renault-Nissan Alliance relaunches joint projects - 1

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Lawrence Smith

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