Nissan to Supply Chrysler with Small Car

By Brendan Moore

01.11.2008

The rumors started in late December, went dormant for awhile, and then, ramped up like crazy yesterday. Now we have word that Nikkei of Japan is reporting today that Nissan has stated that it may indeed supply Chrysler with 30,000 Nissan Versa (known as the Tiida in Japan) compacts a year which Chrysler will re-brand as Chrysler or Dodge cars.

Nissan Motor Co., Japan’s third-largest auto manufacturer, would start supplying the cars to Chrysler as early as 2008 calendar year. The 1.8 liter Versa that is sold in the United States currently is built in Mexico, and it is assumed that the extra Versas that would go to Chrysler would also be built there, but that is unknown at this point.

The Nikkei report stated that Nissan, in which Renault SA holds a 44 percent stake, seeks to achieve economies of scale by increasing its production of the compact model, while Chrysler aims to expand its line-up of smaller, more fuel-efficient models amid higher gasoline prices (see Nissan and Chrysler May Swap Product 12.19.2007).

Nissan introduced the Versa to the North American market in 2006. They sold 79,443 Versas in the U.S. in 2007.

UPDATE 01.11.2007, 7:51 AM: The car in question will be re-badged and sold by Chrysler in South America. There are no plans to sell the re-badged car in the U.S.

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Author: Brendan Moore

Brendan Moore is a Principal Consultant with Cedar Point Consulting , a management consulting practice based in the Washington, DC area. He also manages Autosavant Consulting, a separate practice within Cedar Point Consulting. where he advises businesses connected to the auto industry. Cedar Point Consulting can be found at http://www.cedarpointconsulting.com.

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7 Comments

  1. Sorry mate but I think you’ll find it is called the Tiida (pronounced Tee-da).

    Which makes the name even sillier. But more exciting than Versa…

    Makes you wonder what Nissan might call the 300C though!!

  2. Thanks for the correction, Seano. Tiida is one of those words that no spell checker will agree with!

  3. Chrysler should do a partnership with Renault-Nissan ASAP. Chrysler gets small cars gets overseas distribution for thier vehicles and Renault-Nissan gets Chrysler’s trucks and minvans and whatever cars they want.

  4. seano maybe Nissan could call the 300C in Japan, the Nissan President, an executive sedan rival of the Toyota Century in Japan.

    Now for the “Dodge Versa”, which name they could use? Colt is currently used by Mitsubishi in Europe, South America and my guess is Mitsubishi now owns the name for the North American market. Or how about the revival of the Dart nameplate? Another one could be Hornet or Rambler. Others folks at Jalopnik think of reviving the DeSoto or Plymouth nameplates.

    My guess is that will be the 1st step for the genesis of “CRN” (Chrysler-Renault-Nissan, I also taught of CNR for Chrysler-Nissan-Renault but in Canada, CNR means also “Canadian National railway” in English while in French we just said “CN”). The Nissan D platform (Altima, Renault Laguna) could be use for a redesign of the Avenger/Sebring sedan and coupe-cabriolet. (there talks of dropping the Viper to keep some money for a Avenger/Sebring redesign, but my guess is the D-platform could be the anwser to the solution.

    I once mentionned the idea of a Dodge Challenger with the Skyline GT-R twin-turbo, I wonder if some Skyline fans could replace the twin-turbo with the Hemi or even the Viper V10? 😉

  5. I’m sure Nissan doesnt want a re-badged Chrysler or Dodge competing with their Versa in the U.S. Now, if it were the same car but with a slightly different interior and very different skin (like the Pontiac and Toytota Matrix), I’d be willing to bet Nissan would be perfectly happy with that arrangment.

  6. From USAToday:

    This kind of tactical partnership allows us to maximize product offerings yet minimize costly investments,” said Chrysler President Tom LaSorda, adding that the agreement will allow Chrysler to add a small car in its lineup.

    Nissan and Chrysler agreed to keep exploring other possible ways to share products, they said in a joint release. A Nissan affiliate has been supplying Chrysler with transmissions since 2004, it said.

    “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, Nissan Executive Vice President.

    So how long can it be before Nissan, Renault and Chrysler all hook up and play together as a trio?

  7. This just makes no sense…
    Chrysler selling a rebadged Versa is just weird.

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