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Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Nissan, Mitsubishi, Renault Alliance "Maxed Out" Says Exec

Nissan thinks they’ve maxed out the sharing of platforms, powertrains, and components in their alliance with Renault and Mitsubishi. And for them, the only way they can do more is through electrification.

This was revealed by Nissan’s Chief Operating Officer Ashwani Gupta. Per a quote from Reuters:
Nissan has already been sharing common platforms, powertrains and components with Renault and Mitsubishi, but those efforts have “reached the maximum we should do,” Gupta said.
To recall, these two, then three automakers entered into an alliance in order to cut costs and make themselves globally competitive. And while their three-way relationship was strained after the arrest and ouster of former Chairman Carlos Ghosn, the pandemic served as a catalyst for them to re-build their collaboration.

But as Gupta pointed out, Nissan thinks this is the most they can do. Unless, of course, you put electrification into the picture. Once you consider electrification, Gupta believes they can do much, much more. Again, per Reuters:
The focus will be on sharing batteries, electric powertrains and electronic architecture, he said, adding that adopting a uniform standard across the alliance would "contribute significantly" to economies of scale.
Nissan has confirmed that it’ll be sharing the all-electric Ariya SUV’s platform with Renault. However, they’re still working on standardizing the battery technology—the costliest part of any EV.
Batteries are one of the costliest components of EVs, with raw materials accounting for the largest part of the cost. Yet battery development has been one of the weaker points of the more than 20-year alliance, with both Nissan and Renault sourcing batteries separately.

Renault CEO Luca de Meo said this month the two companies are in talks to collaborate more by using the same battery technology, and Gupta said on Friday they have agreed on the common specifications of batteries.
Gupta also said that while keeping the distinctiveness of each brand was important in the alliance, the automakers would share to eliminate the duplication of resources.

If Nissan wants to bring down the prices of their EVs, and by extension, make them more mainstream this is the way to go. Other carmakers are already doing it too whether it’s Ford with Volkswagen, GM with Honda, or Toyota with Subaru and a bunch of Chinese manufacturers.

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