Renault, Daimler Talk Partnership
By Brendan Moore
Renault is looking seriously at partnership possibilities with several other auto manufacturers, and one of the companies under strong consideration is Daimler, parent company of Mercedes-Benz, said a senior Renault executive. Patrick Pelata, Renault’s COO, made the remarks to journalists this morning in Paris.
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche commented a few days ago in a press conference that his company was speaking with Renault and others about a partnership, so this would seem to complete the loop.
All automotive manufacturers are casting about for a suitable partner right now in order to share costs for new technology and new platforms. Pelata stated in an almost-offhand manner that Renault had also been in the running for Suzuki as a partner until VW was able to secure that alliance.
It is thought that Daimler is very interested in bringing on a partner to help it with their smaller cars like the Smart and their A-Class and B-Class vehicles, in addition to potential EV platforms. There is speculation that Daimler and Renault are planning to team up on a new micro-car platform for the next generation of Smart cars arriving in 2013, which will have the engine in the rear for space-savings and includes a four-seat model.
Renault’s new Twizy 1+1 city electric vehicle, shown at Frankfurt in September is also of some interest to Daimler.
Daimler, for its part, has their existing technology for C-Class and up vehicles, and, is said to be working on new three-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines for their smaller cars, all of which would be interesting to Renault.
Renault has also stepped up activity in terms of further cementing their relationship with Avtovaz, their Russian manufacturing partner. When the Russian market comes back from its current lows, Renault plans to be dealing from a position of strength in the potentially lucrative market.
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