TOKYO – When the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance introduced earlier this yr that it might share extra automobile components, applied sciences and fashions in a bid to chop prices amid the Covid-19 turmoil, there have been considerations that the transfer would lead to badge-engineered automobiles.
At the time Nissan Chief Executive Makoto Uchida mentioned that the synergy potential was “huge” and that the variety of automobiles sharing the identical platform would double by 2024, saving round 2 billion euros (R30.4bn) a yr.
However, Mitsubishi’s design head Seiji Watanabe has assured prospects that every of the three manufacturers would retain their distinct identities. He informed Car Expert that they had been “shaking hands to keep each strong brand identity”.
“This is a starting point. Then, how much we can share several components in the chassis, the construction, the body, the inside… we can share to make a very efficient approach, efficient development,” Watanabe mentioned.
“The point is, the basic concept is to keep each brand identity… I think the keeping of character or identity is most, most important to keep, and enhance, the brand building.”
According to Car Expert, the design head urged that a few of the much less noticeable contact factors and trim bits may very well be shared between automobiles however extra vital components just like the steering wheel must be completely different with a purpose to retain the automobile’s model id, and the identical goes for the outside styling.
As reported earlier this yr, the brand new alliance plan will see Nissan focussing on China, North America and Japan; Renault on Europe, Russia and South America and North Africa, and Mitsubishi on Southeast Asia and Oceania, for the advantage of your entire alliance.
The shared expertise will even embody electrical automobiles and autonomous driving, platforms and automobile our bodies, the executives mentioned. Nissan is a frontrunner in electrical automobiles with its Leaf, however such expertise will likely be accessible to the opposite alliance members, the corporate mentioned.
Renault owns 43% of Nissan, whereas Nissan owns 15% of Renault. The authorities of France owns 15% of Renault.
Sources: AP, Car Expert