At a news conference in Brussels, Belgium this morning, Daimler AG and the Renault-Nissan alliance officially announced that the three automakers would collaborate on future products and each would exchange shares in the other companies. The deal has been rumored for months and Daimler has been looking for years for a partner to help spread out the costs of small car development.
Rumors that Renault-Nissan may be interested in taking on a third head have popped once again, with the would-be merger candidate this time being General Motors. Huh, sounds familiar, doesn't it? In actuality, The Wall Street Journal is really just speculating on the possible effects of such a deal, and it's done so with all kinds of number crunching and colorful pie charts.
The Renault-Nissan alliance is pushing forward perhaps harder than any other established automaker with its electric vehicle efforts. Between the French and Japanese, brands they plan to have as many as eight different battery electric vehicles in production in the next few years. In order to make sure that there is a demand for these zero emissions vehicles, the companies are actively involved in promotional and educational programs for the environment and more friendly vehicles.
The Renault-Nissan alliance has officially confirmed the agreement that has been struck with the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology for developing an electric vehicle market and infrastructure there. The first pilot test program will start in the city of Wuhan with the Chinese government planning a 13 city program. Renault Nissan will provide vehicles as well as guidance for setting up a public charging network.