After a tumultuous few months, the eventual outcome appears to be a closer-knit family as the Alliance seeks to expand platform sharing.
After the removal of Carlos Ghosn from the head of the Renault/Nissan/Mitsubishi Alliance, it has been uncertain as to how the brands would emerge going forward. Many expected Nissan to separate from the Alliance and forge its own path again. However, the brands announced that they intend to work closer than ever and improve costings for consumers as well as specifying individual brands as the ‘leader’ in strategic markets. “The Alliance is a unique strategic and operational partnership in the automotive world and gives us a strong edge in the ever-changing global automotive landscape,” said Jean-Dominique Senard, Chairman of the Alliance Operating Board and Renault. “The new business model will enable the Alliance to bring out the most of each company’s assets and performing capabilities, while building on their respective cultures and legacies. The three companies of the Alliance will cover all vehicle segments and technologies, across all geographies, for the benefit of every customer, while increasing their respective competitiveness, sustainable profitability and social and environmental responsibility.”
There was also the mention of further standardisation across the brands where upper bodies may be used widely instead of just the platform. This could be a rebadging scheme where the vehicle would merely be called something different depending on which market it is being sold in.
Nissan is to be the leader in the Chinese, North American and Japanese markets. Renault will lead in Europe, Russia, South America and North Africa. Mitsubishi will take the lead ASEAN and Oceania markets. There seems to be no mention of where South Africa will fit into this but we should expect a local announcement in the coming days.
Further to this strategy, Nissan will develop an all-new C-segment SUV with Renault developing a new B-Segment SUV. Key technology advancements will also be directed to individual brands with Nissan further developing autonomous vehicles, Renault working on connected-car tech and Mitsubishi has been assigned work on a D-segment PHEV vehicle. Both Renault and Nissan will develop electric powertrain technology to be used across all-electric platforms.
These initiatives should allow the Alliance to improve costing on each model under this scheme by up to 40%. It should also allow each brand to work in its particular area of expertise, providing more competitive products, faster, in theory.