Renault, together with its alliance partners Nissan and Mitsubishi, has announced that it will put a strong focus on cost-cutting and improving ties with one another following mounting reports of a merger or split due to the effects of the Coronavirus and arrest of former Chairman Carlos Ghosn.
In tabling the alliance’s path forward, Boulogne-Billancourt’s Chairman, Jean-Dominique Senard, said instead of a merger, it would be adopting a “leader-follower” path in which the strongest of the three marques will lead the way while the remaining two would play a supporting role.
According to an extensive report by Reuters, the three divisions will be divided-up in specific regions based on each other’s strengths. In this regards, Nissan would become the focal point in China, Japan and North America, while Renault will take centre stage in Europe, Russia, South America and North America. Mitsubishi meanwhile will concentrate on Southeast Asia and Oceania. The future of South Africa though is unknown.
In addition, each of the marque’s respective models will be develop closer and use the same platforms, with the publication referring to the move as a ‘mother’ and ‘sister’ strategy in which one model becomes the central project and the others derived from or built from it.
Quoting Senard, Australia’s motoring.com.au reports that the new strategy would result in the next Navara and Triton becoming badge engineered models with only small differences separating them, while the Koleos, Outlander and X-Trail will follow a similar route.
“In 2019 common platforms represented 39 per cent of all the vehicles produced by the Alliance. With the launch of the [planned existing] new models using the common platforms, we will double this number by 2024,” Senard said.
“However, this is not enough. The platform itself only requires one-third of the model investment. If we want to see a real impact on competitiveness, we need to push our standardisation further from platform to upper bodies – therefore covering two-thirds of the [cost of] model investment”.
Aside from its SUVs and pick-ups, each marque will also be responsible for technological innovations with Nissan taking the global lead and Renault being intrusted with in-car tech, apart from in China. Plug-in hybrid vehicles will be focus point for Mitsubishi