PARIS -- Renault-Nissan named Renault veteran Philippe Brunet to replace the top executive in charge of engines and transmissions.
Brunet will take over as global head of powertrain and electric vehicle engineering from Alain Raposo, who is stepping aside on Jan. 1, an alliance spokeswoman said today. Raposo will take up a new post as Alliance Powertrain Fellow and remain "part of a strong team," the spokeswoman said.
The change comes as tightening emissions regulations expose the slow pace of integration between the powertrain divisions of Renault and Nissan.
The car-making alliance wascreated in 1999 but is still moving incrementally towards common vehicle architectures and engine. The automakers say 85 percent of engines are already shared in some way. But that understates inefficiencies, executives privately concede - as well as the cost of protracted bickering over whose technology becomes standard.
Tighter emissions regulations in the wake of Volkswagen Group's exposure last year for cheating U.S. diesel tests has made the problem more urgent. Independent studies have since blamed Renault for some of the highest real-world NOx emissions. Questions over whether Renault's technology breaches EU law have been referred to prosecutors for investigation. Renault has said all its engines are legal.
Brunet, an engineering graduate, joined Renault from the aerospace industry in 1989. He worked in the automaker's Formula One unit and transferred Renault's engineering division in 2000 where he became project manager for the alliance's 2.0-liter diesel engine. In 2013 he was appointed program director for Renault's midsize vehicles.