PARIS (Bloomberg) -- Renault and Nissan aim to generate 5.5 billion euros ($6 billion) in annual savings in 2018 as the automotive alliance deepens cooperation in engineering, purchasing and human resources.
The plan calls for integrating divisions, creating common processes and exchanging personnel, extending existing cooperation efforts, the French and Japanese carmakers said in a statement Friday.
New projects will be presented to employee representatives by the end of March. The companies said they generated savings of more than 4 billion euros in 2015 through the cooperation.
"The auto industry is rapidly evolving, requiring Renault and Nissan to leverage the alliance as a pragmatic business tool," Carlos Ghosn, chief executive officer of both carmakers, said in the statement. "The road ahead is one of more convergence, working more closely together."
Ghosn is pushing to lift earnings at Renault to balance out the 16-year alliance with its more profitable Japanese partner after Nissan failed in its effort to activate shareholding rights in Renault.
The profitability push has been hampered by expansion into Russia and other emerging markets such as Brazil, where slumping economies have sapped car demand.
Renault-Nissan plans to start the new cooperation projects on April 1 and will announced further details at that time. The projects involve production engineering and supply-chain management as the companies look to share more resources.
Renault owns 43.4 percent of Nissan, which in turn owns 15 percent of its French partner but lacks voting rights.
Renault shares rose 0.4 percent to 86.66 euros at 1:46 p.m. in Paris on Friday, reversing earlier losses. The stock has slipped 6.4 percent this year, valuing the French carmaker at 25.6 billion euros. Nissan is worth 4.96 trillion yen ($44 billion) after closing up 0.9 percent in Tokyo.