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Renault-Nissan and Mercedes-Benz will officially partner on the German brand's midsize pickup project. Nissan will allow Mercedes to re-engineer the underpinnings from the NP300 Navarra to create the German brand's own model.

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Aston Martin has a very interesting future ahead of it. While the British brand appeared to be struggling with aging tech for a while, fresh investment from Daimler may have shown a light toward the future with the brand getting engines and electronics from them. Also, former Renault-Nissan top exec Andy Palmer has jumped ship from the French/Japanese automaker to become CEO of the much smaller sports car company. Interestingly, though, new reports from unnamed Nissan sources have indicated that

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Mitsubishi and Renault-Nissan have just inked an alliance that might, hopefully, reverse the ailing fortunes of the Mitsubishi brand in the US market. The big chunk of news is that Mitsubishi will produce two Renualt-based models for sale in the US market, and that they'll be built at the Renault-Samsung factory in Busan, South Korea.

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Like many countries around the world, the recent global economic crisis has hit France particularly hard, and its government is looking for ways to turn that around. According to Reuters, French president Francois Hollande (pictured above) is hoping that a handful of advanced transportation technologies will spur job and economy growth in the country. Proclaiming "France is a nation of inventors, pioneers and producers," Hollande is reportedly calling upon his country's history of innovation to

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Platform sharing is nothing new for the 14-year-old Renault-Nissan Alliance, but this partnership is set to introduce new modular platform components that will eventually underpin 11 Renault models and three Nissan vehicles by 2020. Rather than being a typical platform, the Common Module Family (CMF) actually represents five segments of a platform that can be used in various applications, and one of the first vehicles to use this architecture will be the 2014 Nissan Rogue (spy shots of which are

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Somewhere in between the Smart brand and the all-new A-Class (pictured above), Daimler is said to be readying a smaller entry-level product for the Mercedes-Benz brand to compete with models like the Audi A1. According to AutoBild, Mercedes-Benz will get a new hatchback based on a platform from its recent partnership with Renault-Nissan, and it could be called the X-Class.

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Still in the testing phases of the next-generation Smart Fortwo and the new Forfour model, Smart could also be planning a new crossover to reach into a more mainstream vehicle segment. According to Auto Express, soon after the redesigned Fortwo arrives in 2014, the Smart lineup will grow to include the other two models by 2015.

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A Renault espionage scandal that turned into an espionage hoax scandal soaked up four months of people's lives in early 2011 and resulted in the resignation of company COO Patrick Pelata. An informant with some bad information who was paid €250,000 told Renault that three executives had sold electric vehicle technology to the Chinese and were laundering their money in secret accounts in Liechtenstein and Switzerland. Renault fired the executives, and when the whole thing began to fall apart

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Renault-Nissan aims to increase its stake in Avtovaz, giving the alliance majority control over Russia's largest automaker. The deal will likely see Renault and Nissan vehicles manufactured beside Lada models in the near future. Avtovaz recently finished a new production facility in Togliatti where the three brands plan to produce up to 1.6 million units per year. That move would make the Togliatti plant one of the largest automotive manufacturing facilities in the world. The companies expect th

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We hope General Motors hasn't started planning that ticker-tape parade down Jefferson Avenue yet, as Volkswagen has apparently taken issue with the notion that GM might again be the world's largest automaker.

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In spite of contraction in Europe and a series of natural disasters in Japan and Thailand that crippled supply, Renault-Nissan – with a tiny bit of help from Russian partner Avotvaz – sold 8.03 million cars in 2011. The record year outdid 2010 sales by 10 percent, with Nissan's sales growing 14% and Renault improving by 4.6 percent.

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As part of its drive to focus on sustainable technologies, advanced engineering and the zero-emissions vehicles of the future, the Renault-Nissan Alliance is opening a research lab in Silicon Valley, CA, right across the street from Google's headquarters. We suppose it doesn't hurt that Google recently put Leafs into its RechargeIT Gfleet.

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Renault has a new chief operating officer. Carlos Tavares, formerly the Chief Executive Officer for Nissan Americas, will now fill the void left by former Renault COO Patrick Pelata. Pelata left the French automaker amid a botched spy scandal investigation that saw a rash of Renault executives lose their positions. Taveres has a long history with Renault, having served with the company for 24 years before being assigned to the U.S. with Nissan Americas in 2003. His move back to Renault has been

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The industrial espionage case involving three top Renault execs, some of the automaker's electric vehicle secrets and possibly even China continues. In early January, the French carmaker officially filed an accusation against a undisclosed company tied to a foreign power, according to Jean-Claude Marin, a Paris prosecutor, in a report posted by Reuters. This espionage case has grown to such a level that French industry manager Eric Besson stated that the nation was facing an "economic war" over

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The door metaphorically adjoining the offices of Msr. Ghosn and Dr. Zetsche swings both ways. The two executives – heads of Daimler and the Renault-Nissan Alliance respectively – signed a deal that would see the two auto groups collaborating on future products. So far all the reports appear to be benefiting Nissan – including the latest on AMG engines in Infiniti Performance Line models – but the latest indicate a measure of reciprocation.

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2011 Infiniti IPL G Coupe – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Renault Kangoo Z.E. - Click above for high-res image gallery

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