Groupe Renault, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation today announced several initiatives as part of a new business model “to enhance the competitiveness and profitability” of the three sometimes at odds companies.** It’s a “survival by consolidation strategy,” which will have international political and product and employment implications for autoworkers, dealers and suppliers.
The member companies plan to build on existing Alliance “benefits” in areas such as joint purchasing by using their respective positions and geographic strengths to support their partners’ business development. The three companies of the Alliance will cover all vehicle segments and technologies globally, while increasing their respective competitiveness.
“The Alliance is a unique strategic and operational partnership in the automotive world and gives us a strong edge in the ever-changing global automotive landscape,” claimed Jean-Dominique Senard, Chairman of the Alliance Operating Board and Renault. “
The current leaders of the three companies have endorsed the principles of the leader-follower plan for vehicles:
- Push the Alliance’s standardization strategy further, from platforms to upper bodies.
- By segment, focus on one mother vehicle (leader car) and sister vehicles engineered by the leading company, with the support of the followers’ teams.
- Ensure that leader and follower vehicles for each brand are produced using the most competitive setup, including grouping production where appropriate; and,
- Continue to build on product sharing in light commercial vehicles, where the leader-follower model is already applied.
The leader-follower scheme is “expected to deliver model investment reductions of up to 40% for vehicles fully under the scheme. Those benefits are expected to come in addition to conventional synergies that are already delivered today.” By implementing the plan, Nissan aims to achieve a 5% operating profit margin and a sustainable global market share of 6% by the end of fiscal year 2023, including proportionate contributions from its 50% equity joint venture in China.
The Alliance also endorsed the principle of naming different parts of the world as “reference regions,” with each company focusing on its core regions with the aim to be among the most competitive and to serve as a reference for the others to enhance their competitiveness.
- Nissan will be the reference for China, North America, and Japan.
- Renault in Europe, Russia, South America and North Africa.
- Mitsubishi Motors in ASEAN and Oceania.
The companies’ product portfolio updates will follow the leader-follower scheme, and leader and follower vehicles will be produced using the most competitive setup:
- The renewal of the C-SUV segment post-2025 will be led by Nissan, while the future renewal of the B-SUV segment in Europe will be led by Renault.
- In Latin America, the B-product platforms will be rationalized, evolving from four variants to only one for both Renault and Nissan products. This platform will be produced in two plants each producing for both Renault and Nissan
- In Southeast Asia and Japan, Alliance members will pursue select opportunities under the same scheme, such as the kei car collaboration between Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors.
All taken together, close to 50% of Alliance models will be developed and produced under the leader-follower scheme by 2025.
In terms of technology efficiency, the Alliance members will continue their capitalization of existing assets to ensure that each member company continues to share the investment in platforms, powertrains, and technologies.
This sharing has proven its efficiency in powertrain and platform development and enabled the successful launch of the CMF-B platform for the Renault Clio and Nissan Juke, as well as the kei car platform for the Nissan Dayz and Mitsubishi eK Wagon. The CMF-C/D and CMF-EV platforms will follow soon.
The leader-follower scheme will be extended from platforms and powertrains to all key technologies, with leadership assigned as follows:
- Autonomous driving: Nissan
- Connected-car technologies – Renault to lead Android-based platform and Nissan in China
- E-body, the core system of the electric-electronic architecture: Renault
- e-PowerTrain (ePT): CMF-A/B ePT – Renault; CMF-EV ePT – Nissan
- PHEV for C/D segment: Mitsubishi Motors
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