Renault Nissan Mercedes Benz: Platform sharing for high end cars

Renault now looks at their partnership with Daimler in order to attain success when it comes to high-end cars. Carlos Ghosn, Renault CEO in a radio interview with France Inter last week said Renault would collaborate with Mercedes-Benz for a new high-end car. While acknowledging that Renault has faced difficulties in the high end market, he did say the French car manufacturer will ‘apply what it learned from its past mistakes’. He further added, “The Latitude is Renault’s current flagship model. It has served as a temporary replacement for the Vel Satis, which Renault launched in 2001 but discontinued in 2009 due to disappointing sales.”

As per JATO Dynamics, sales of Latitude manufactured by Renault subsidiary Samsung Motors in Korea stands at 10,719 units for 2011. This would place the car in 3rd place with the Skoda Superb and Subaru Legacy/Outback in Europe’s large-car segment taking top honors. 2014 onward, Renault would launch replacements for their Espace, Laguna, and Vel Satis high-end vehicles.

Earlier it was revealed that Mercedes modules would be used to this end. It has not been divulged which Mercedes modules were to be used, and the French has agreements with Daimler in regards to powertrains, and platform sharing. Renault and alliance partner Nissan built their partnership with Daimler in 2010.

Keeping in mind the Renault-Nissan partnership with Daimler, Renault will work on production of a four seat vehicle for Daimler subsidiary, Smart in Novo Mesto, Slovenia. Platform sharing will be a norm for the new Smart and next-generation Renault Twingo minicar, and both cars are to be launched in 2013. Daimler and Nissan would be working on Mercedes four cylinder gasoline engines for Mercedes and Infiniti, Nissan’s luxury brand in the US from 2014, and would work on co-developing powertrains soon.

IHS Automotive analyst, Carlos Da Silva had this to say. “Collaborating with Mercedes could help Renault offer a premium model that it could sell at a profit. Otherwise, Renault would likely not be able to afford the investment required to deliver a model for upper-end car customers. ” “Renault faces quite a dilemma: investing in something that will meet the demand but that will never be profitable in the near term given the sales volumes or just upgrading what they already have on the shelf, while perfectly knowing that they will not exactly meet the demand.” “Hence, the big advantage for Renault of partnering with Mercedes … they are basically getting access to a larger shelf.”