Renault purchasing boss Jean-Baptiste Duzan, who will run the new Renault-Nissan purchasing joint venture, spoke about his future plans with Sylviane de Saint-Seine and Edmund Chew of Automotive News Europe.
What areas of purchasing will the new company start with?
It will cover all fields, but a lot of chassis equipment in particular. Also, probably about half of our powertrain purchases. It will even cover parts that are considered key to brand identity and therefore are different between Renault and Nissan. We still think that there are synergies to be gained from having the same suppliers.
You have talked about 5 percent cost savings. Where will that come come from?
A long time ago, we [Renault-Nissan] started to try and take the best practices from each other. We are very confident that we will achieve it because 5 percent is what we have already gained on the B-class platform [Micra-Clio]. With the B-class platform we had common suppliers and common purchases, even though the common structure did not exist.
What other benefits do you expect?
One very big element will be faster decisions. There will be just one decision process. In a purchasing decision, that is very important. It means that we will choose the suppliers and agree on the cost objectives more quickly.
It will help quality. Today we see that Renault and Nissan obtain different quality from the same suppliers. In many cases, I have found that the supplier who is confronted by a demanding customer becomes better. In the fields of quality and speed of development, Nissan is a very demanding customer.
What are the differences between Renault's and Nissan's purchasing procedures?
In Europe, we have a tendency to solve the problem. Nissan goes further. Once they have solved the problem they have a very systematic way of working to ensure that it could not happen again. We have a tendency to skip that part sometimes.
What is Renault bringing to the joint approach?
At Renault we were very open to what suppliers had to propose, and purchasing played a very big role in that. I think this is one of the biggest changes that has been introduced at Nissan.