The potential partnership between Chrysler and Nissan on which we reported yesterday is officially a done deal, with Nissan agreeing to supply a version of the Versa for Chrysler to sell in South America. This is not, as we were all supposing, a deal that will have the automakers cooperating on any product for the North American market. The two companies, however, are still talking about other ways to buddy up, saying in their press release that they've "agreed to maintain an open dialogue to explore further product-sharing opportunities." It's been reported that Nissan is still interested in Chrysler's truck expertise and it's no secret that the smallest of Detroit's Big Three needs a small car to sell below the Caliber.

This deal, however, is strictly for the South American market. Chrysler is not unfamiliar with this practice of cross-company rebadging, as it sells Dodge-branded Hyundais in Mexico, for instance. So in the end, this partnership appears to be much ado about little. Dodge still has a gaping hole where a small car should be sold in the U.S. and Nissan, despite the advances of Carlos Ghosn towards every domestic U.S. automaker, remains stag.

[Source: Chrysler]


PRESS RELEASE:

Chrysler and Nissan Confirm OEM Product Agreement

Auburn Hills, Mich., Jan 11, 2008 - Chrysler LLC and Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., today announced an agreement for Nissan to supply Chrysler with a new car for limited distribution in South America. Based on the Nissan Versa sedan, the new car will be supplied to Chrysler on an Original Equipment Manufacture (OEM) basis in 2009.
The OEM supply agreement is the second product exchange between the two corporations, with Nissan affiliate JATCO already supplying Chrysler with transmissions since 2004.

"This kind of tactical partnership allows us to maximize product offerings yet minimize costly investments, such as new plant infrastructure, tooling and R&D," said Chrysler LLC President and Vice Chairman Tom LaSorda. "This partnership will give Chrysler nearly immediate access to vehicle segments in which we do not currently compete."

"Nissan has a successful track-record of win-win product exchanges and we are pleased to be entering into this second agreement with Chrysler," said Carlos Tavares, Executive Vice President, Nissan Motor Company.

The two companies have also agreed to maintain an open dialogue to explore further product-sharing opportunities.

Chrysler LLC, headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich., produces Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge and Mopar® brand vehicles and products. Its product lineup features some of the world's most recognizable vehicles, including the Chrysler 300, Jeep Wrangler and Dodge Charger. The Chrysler Foundation - the primary source of charitable grants made by Chrysler - annually supports hundreds of charitable organizations with an emphasis on community growth and enrichment, education, arts and culture, public policy, youth development and disaster relief programs throughout the United States and, increasingly, the world. Chrysler is a unit of Cerberus Capital Management.

Nissan Motor Company generated global net revenues of 10.468 trillion yen in 2006. Nissan is present in all major global auto markets selling a comprehensive range of cars, pickup trucks, SUVs and light commercial vehicles under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. Nissan employs over 180,000 people worldwide.

Under the Nissan Value-Up business plan, the company continues to focus on long-term sustainable and profitable growth driven by three commitments:

- To maintain top level of operating profit margin among global automakers

- To achieve global sales of 4.2 million units in 2009

- 20% return on invested capital on average over the course of the plan