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Japan/Europe: Renault-Nissan and Daimler Announce Plan to Share Components

SHARING The new Renault Twingo at the Frankfurt Motor Show on Tuesday. When electric versions of the Twingo and Daimler Smart come on the market in 2014, they will use the same motors and batteries.

By JACK EWING

Published: September 14, 2011

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FRANKFURT — In an example of how major shifts in technology are compelling carmakers to cooperate more closely to cut costs, Daimler and the Renault-Nissan Alliance said Wednesday they would expand their existing partnership to include components of new compact luxury vehicles and reaffirmed plans to share batteries and motors in electric cars.

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At Frankfurt Show, Automakers Are Optimistic (September 14, 2011)

At a joint news conference here during the auto show, Dieter Zetsche, the chief executive of Daimler, and Carlos Ghosn, the chief executive of Renault-Nissan, said a new car sold under Nissan’s Infiniti brand would use components from Daimler’s expanding line of front-wheel-drive Mercedes-Benz compact vehicles, as well as high-performance 4-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines.

The two executives framed the cooperation as a way to cope with the changes facing the industry. Premium carmakers like Daimler and Infiniti are producing smaller cars in response to higher fuel prices and regulatory pressures. In addition, auto executives have begun to worry that diesel and gasoline may eventually become too costly for everyday use. Even if that day is decades away, they are investing in new technology as a matter of self-preservation.

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