Nissan and Daimler announced today that Nissan’s Decherd plant will build Mercedes-Benz 4-cylinder engines for Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz starting in 2014. This marks the first production of Mercedes-Benz engines in the North America Free Trade region. For those who don’t know, the collaboration between Daimler and Renault-Nissan Alliance started back in April 2010 and includes an equity exchange that gives the Renault-Nissan Alliance a 3.1 percent stake in Daimler and Daimler a combined 3.1 percent interest in Renault and Nissan. The collaboration started with three project pillars.
The first one is joint Smart/Twingo architecture – this project is already on track and will be launched in early first quarter of 2014. The first Smart vehicles will be produced at Daimler’s plant in Hambach, France, and four-seater smart and Renault production are slated for Renault’s plant in Novo Mesto, Slovenia.
The second project is an all-new entry-level city van project for Mercedes-Benz and this vehicle will be launched at the end of this year and will be manufactured at Renault’s plant in Maubeuge, France.
The third project includes powertrain cross-supply – this means that the Alliance will supplying Daimler with compact three-cylinder gasoline engines to be used in smart and Twingo vehicles and four-cylinder diesel engines to be used in the jointly developed light commercial vehicle and in Mercedes-Benz’s next generation of premium compact cars.
Moreover, Daimler will supply Nissan and Infiniti with four- and six-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines from the current and future engine portfolio as well as with automatic transmissions. The collaboration between the companies gradually expanded since April 2010 as the company decided to collaborate on zero-emission vehicles, as Daimler will provide batteries from its production facility in Kamenz, Germany, and Renault-Nissan will provide electric motors for the use in electric vehicles (smart and Twingo ZE). And this is not all, as Infiniti will also build a premium compact vehicle using the Mercedes-Benz compact-car architecture.
“In the context of our Mercedes-Benz 2020 growth strategy, we have decided that we will expand the production capacities required for this close to the customers. Through the strategic extension of our cooperation with Renault-Nissan we can realize near-market engine production in the NAFTA region on attractive economic terms and make optimum use of synergies arising from the cooperation,” Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Daimler Board of Management and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, said. “Thus we are systematically broadening our manufacturing footprint in this important growth market.”