NASHVILLE -- Fifteen years after its launch, the Renault-Nissan Alliance is targeting the United States in earnest.
Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, whose alliance faces bigger competitors that can use larger volumes to wring lower prices from suppliers, wants to maximize efficiency. He is pushing his companies into common product architectures, manufacturing and r&d.
For the United States, that means a new stream of jointly developed Nissan-Renault vehicles and engines. Some examples:
- By 2018, 70 percent of Renault and Nissan models will be built under the alliance's new "common module families" approach to auto design, which is expected to cut purchasing costs by nearly a third.
- The Rogue crossover, introduced late last year, comes from the common module approach, in which Nissan and Renault work from shared parts bins.
- In addition to building the Rogue in Tennessee, Nissan has picked a Renault factory in South Korea to begin producing thousands of Rogues per month to ship to West Coast dealers in the United States.
- Next year U.S. Infiniti dealers will get the Q30 compact hatchback, which is imported from England. That vehicle is developed on a Mercedes-Benz architecture -- the result of a program being shared with Nissan through the Renault-Nissan collaboration with Mercedes parent Daimler.
- This year Infiniti will get a new Mercedes-designed 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine built at Nissan's U.S. engine plant in Decherd, Tennessee. The engine sharing deal also came about through Renault-Nissan-Daimler collaboration.
- Nissan has acknowledged the possibility of producing an additional vehicle at its new plant in Aguascalientes, Mexico, that would be shared by Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz dealers in the United States.