Renault and Nissan will unveil a wide-ranging three-way tie-up with German automaker Daimler intended to bolster their offerings in small, energy efficient, vehicles amid an industry slump that has ravaged the companies' earnings.
Daimler to join Renault, Nissan
The parts-sharing and research alliance with Daimler will be announced at a joint news conference in Brussels, two officials close to Renault told Associated Press. The partnership would also see the companies exchange small stakes of around three percent.
Renault's board met in Paris to sign-off the partnership, French Industry Minister Christian Estrosi said at a news conference, according to his office. The French state owns 15% of Renault.
OTHER POSSIBLE PARTNERS
The automakers intend to share engines and small-car platforms for Daimler's Smart and Renault's Twingo, The Wall Street Journal reported. They also would collaborate on the research and development of hybrids, battery vehicles and other fuel-efficient technologies.
Renault revealed late last in 2009 that it was talking to Daimler and other potential partners about ways to cut costs or boost volumes as it struggles to get its crisis-ravaged finances in better shape.
Renault is no stranger to partnerships - it already shares development costs with Japanese partner Nissan, in which it owns a 44% stake.
Renault says its priority is to find savings through its alliance with Nissan and to help struggling Russian automaker AvtoVAZ, in which Renault has a 25% stake.
News of the partnership with Daimler came as the industry struggled to emerge from a sharp downturn due to the global recession which has seen spending on big-ticket items fall dramatically. In 2009 Renault made its first annual loss since it was privatised 13 years earlier. It predicts another tough year in 2010.
Daimler lost €2.6bn in 2009 after taking charges, among them €294m to settle Daimler's exit from its failed alliance with Chrysler.
Renault and Daimler declined to comment on the new partnership.