Auto giants to work together on buying

12 April 2010

13 April 2010 | Helen Gilbert and Lindsay Clark

Carmakers Renault and Nissan have agreed a global tie-up with German manufacturer Daimler to collaborate on purchasing.

Renault-Nissan will take a stake of 3.1 per cent in Daimler, while the German firm will take an equal stake in the French-Japanese alliance. All three businesses will cooperate on developing technologies for small and electric cars, light commercial vehicles and new models. Renault said they would benefit from “common purchasing opportunities” but could not reveal a savings target.

The Renault-Nissan Purchasing Organisation was set up in 2001 as an intermediary for the companies. In April 2008, it took responsibility for 90 per cent of spend across the two firms.

Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board of management of Daimler AG and head of the Mercedes-Benz cars brand, said: “Our skills complement each other very well. Right away, we are strengthening our competitiveness in the small and compact car segment and are reducing our CO2 footprint – both on a long-term basis.” 

Reacting to the deal, John Henke, president of consultancy Planning Perspectives, told SM high development costs meant such automotive joint ventures were increasingly common. Toyota and Mazda have just announced an alliance on hybrid technology.

John Campi, procurement consultant and former Chrysler CPO, was sceptical. He said: “Daimler is fundamentally a European company like Renault. Unless there is a technology hook for the Nissan-Renault team, Daimler only represents a very high-cost supply chain structure.

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