Daimler, Nissan Talk about Trading Engines and EV Platforms

By Brendan Moore

The Nikkei business newspaper of Japan is reporting that Nissan Motor Co. is in discussions with Daimler AG to get large V8 and diesel engines from the German vehicle manufacturer. The quid pro quo in the deal would be electric cars and batteries from Nissan, says the Japanese daily.

Daimler could make good use of the EV technology concerning EV versions of their A-Class cars and the Smart car.

Renault, Nissan’s partner in their automotive alliance, is already engaged in talks with Daimler over an equity exchange, so it appears that those discussions regarding cooperation may become three-way talks now. Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, who is also the CEO of Renault, has commented that he is open to the discussions regarding an equity swap , but has not made any public statements regarding sharing of product.

Ghosn will brief Nissan executives this week on the status of Renault’s comprehensive talks with Daimler, the Nikkei said.

Daimler, for their part, has refused comment of any kind. It is thought that Daimler executives are wary of any equity tie-up at the moment; not because of Renault’s suitability, but more because of the German company’s recovering financial situation.

On a related note, Renault, in the person of Ghosn, has also started again making sounds about doing something with GM. In 2006, Ghosn tried to get a partnership going with GM, but was rebuffed by the American giant. Since GM executives seem genuinely perplexed by any mention of Renault, the hints regarding GM dropped by Ghosn recently may simply be a negotiating ploy to make Daimler hurry up and make a decision.

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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