The Renault-Nissan Alliance
and Daimler AG will expand their five-year strategic cooperation into the
pickup truck segment said a press note from Renault. Together, Nissan and
Daimler will develop a 1-ton pickup truck for Mercedes-Benz. Mercedes-Benz
recently announced its entry into this segment. The Mercedes-Benz pickup will
share some of the architecture with the all-new Nissan NP300 but it will be
engineered and designed by Daimler to meet the specific needs of its customers.
The vehicle will have all of Mercedes Benz’ distinctive characteristics and
The pickup will feature a
double cab and will be targeted both at personal-use and commercial customers.
The primary target markets for the truck are Europe, Australia, South Africa
and Latin America.
“Mercedes-Benz is the fastest
growing premium brand in the world,” said Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the
Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. “Entering the
rapidly growing segment of midsize pickups is an important step in continuing
our global growth path. Thanks to our well-established partnership with the
Renault-Nissan Alliance, we are able to drastically reduce the time and cost to
enter this key segment,” he added.
Nissan is the world’s
second-biggest 1-ton pickup truck maker and has been building and selling 1-ton
pickups for more than 80 years. Since 1933, more than 14 million Nissan 1-ton
pickup trucks have been used to transport people and cargo, sometimes in the
toughest circumstances. The NP300, sold under the name NP300 Navara and NP300
Frontier (depending on the market), was launched in June 2014 and is currently
produced in Thailand and Mexico.
Nissan and Renault are already
developing a 1-ton pickup truck for Renault which will also share some common
architecture with the Nissan NP300. The truck, which will have a distinctive
Renault design, is Renault’s first 1-ton pickup truck as well. Production of
Renault’s 1-ton truck will begin in 2016 at Nissan’s plant in Cuernavaca,
Mexico. The 1-ton pickup will mark Renault’s second entry into the pickup
segment after the launch of a half-ton pickup later this year.
The Mercedes-Benz 1-ton pickup
truck will be built by Nissan in the Renault plant in Cordoba, Argentina, along
with the Nissan NP300 and the Renault 1-ton truck, for Latin America. The three
trucks will also be built in the Nissan plant in Barcelona, Spain, for other
markets, excluding North America. Production of the trucks at the two plants
will start by the end of the decade.
The Barcelona plant will
produce about 120,000 vehicles annually for the three partners, while the
Cordoba plant will produce nearly 70,000 vehicles a year. A high parts localisation
rate is expected to expand the supply bases in Spain and Argentina
“Thanks to our cooperation
with Daimler on this project, we will be able to share the cost of investment
at the Cordoba plant, while at the same time open up new markets in the Latin
American region for the Renault-Nissan Alliance,” said Carlos Ghosn,
Renault-Nissan Chairman and CEO, adding that “This project will also allow us
to optimise production capacity at the Barcelona plant and enhance our
competitiveness in an important segment.”
The joint pickup project is
the latest milestone in the strategic partnership between Daimler and the
Renault-Nissan Alliance, which celebrates its 5th anniversary this month. The
strategic cooperation among the three companies began on April 10, 2010. At the
time, the scope of the collaboration was limited to three projects primarily
focused on Europe. Since then, the combined portfolio shared between
Renault-Nissan and Daimler has more than quadrupled to 13 projects in Europe,
Asia and the Americas.
“After five years of
cooperation between Daimler and Renault-Nissan, my conclusion is by all means
positive,” Zetsche said, adding “We have identified and launched many joint
projects that create benefits for all partners involved.” “This cooperation is
one of the most productive in the auto industry, enabling all partners to
increase economies of scale while keeping our brands and products distinct,”
The Renault-Nissan Alliance is
a strategic partnership between Paris-based Renault and Yokohama, Japan-based
Nissan, which together sell one in 10 cars worldwide. The companies, which have
been strategic partners since 1999, sold 8.5 million vehicles in nearly 200
countries in 2014. In addition to Avtovaz, the Alliance operates strategic collaborations
with automakers including Germany’s Daimler, Japan’s Mitsubishi, China’s
Dongfeng, and India’s Ashok Leyland.