With the addition of Mitsubishi Motors, the Renault-Nissan alliance is closing in on the level of 10 million vehicles sold per year as automakers vie for the title of biggest manufacturer.
Carlos Ghosn, who engineered the turnaround of Nissan which he has managed along with Renault since 2005, insists that while the ranking is not the objective, size does matter as it can open up economies of scale that can tip the balance in an industry of thin margins.
At the end of July the two carmakers announced their alliance had produced 4.3 billion euros ($4.7 billion) in synergies last year. Since 2014 Renault and Nissan have shared engineering, manufacturing, logistics, purchasing and human resources. They aim to save 5.5 billion euros in 2018.
By 2020 the alliance aims to have 70 percent of its vehicles built on shared platforms. It is also on the level of the alliance that the strategy for self-driving and connected vehicles is being developed.
These synergies open up the possibility of more savings by cross production. Already two Renault factories in France produce Nissan vans and the subcompact Micra. This maximises use of available facilities and avoids unnecessary investments.
Renault and Nissan, partners since 1999, remain distinct companies even if they are tied by cross-holdings: Renault holds 43.4 percent of its Japanese partner, while Nissan owns 15 percent of the French automaker.
From Wednesday, Mitsubishi Motors joins the family thanks to a 34 percent stake held by Nissan. The stake makes Nissan the leading shareholder in Mitsubishi Motors and Goshn becomes the chairman of the board.
But the alliance runs the gamut from budget brands with Dacia and Datsun to bling with the Infiniti marque.
It also includes the top Russian manufacturer Avtovaz as well as Samsung Motors.
With Mitsubishi, Renault-Nissan jumps into fourth place with 8.53 million vehicles manufactured in 2015.
Japan’s Toyota was top last year with 10.15 million vehicles, followed by Germany’s Volkswagen at 9.93 million and General Motors of the United States at 9.8 million.
But the enlarged Renault-Nissan alliance could jump to 9.5 million vehicles in 2016 thanks to an increase in sales by Renault, which has benefitted from a recovery in the European market and the introduction of several new models.
Mitsubishi brings to the alliance a network of factories and presence in growing southeast Asian nations, a region where Renault and Nissan have not been strongly positioned.
© 2016 AFP
TOKYO— Nissan Motor Co. on Thursday completed its purchase of a controlling stake in scandal-hit Mitsubishi Motors Corp. for more than $2 billion, a deal aimed at boosting scale to take on the world’s top auto makers.
With the addition of Mitsubishi, the 17-year-old alliance between Nissan and Renault SAproduces around 10 million vehicles a year, making it one of the three largest automotive groups in the world, behind Toyota Motor Corp. and Volkswagen AG, said Carlos Ghosn,chief executive of both Renault SA and Nissan.
“The alliance will have a scale advantage over most car makers and a handicap to none,” said Mr. Ghosn.