Daimler open to expand tie-up with Renault-Nissan, wants projects with Tesla

Article by Anita Panait, on February 4, 2014

Daimler is open to widening its collaboration with Renault-Nissan to include other car segments, chief executive Dieter Zetsche said during an event to launch the Mercedes V-class van in Munich. He remarked that the Daimler cooperation with Renault for the new-generation Renault Twingo and Smart minicars could be widened and does not have to be limited to one product and one segment.

He said that the partnership with Renault could include compact cars. He also remarked that there is a possibility to collaborate with Nissan's premium brand Infiniti. "In relation to Infiniti, we have a much broader base to start with our new MFA platform," he said. The Mercedes MFA (modular front wheel architecture) underpins cars like the A- and B-class models and the CLA. Infiniti will use the MFA platform for its new Q30 compact car.

Zetsche added that Daimler also would be open to sharing plant capacity with Renault-Nissan for compact cars, if there is an opportunity. "Mid-term or long-term -- based on further ideas for this segment -- we think that an addition of capacity is very likely, most likely necessary. " Zetsche added that North America was a possible location for such collaboration.

Zetsche reiterated that Daimler is open to cooperating with Tesla Motors, noting that the US carmaker’s project leader was a former member of the German carmaker’s team, “so we have a lot of very good links, a very constructive good relationship, which certainly has room for further expansion." He also said that Daimler would be open to sharing its GL offroader platform with Aston Martin, depending on Aston's product plans.

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