Nissan seeks tech growth independent of Renault By Investing.com
© AKUURA. Nissan seeks tech growth independent of Renault
By Michael Elkins
An exclusive story by AKUURA on Friday reports, citing seven people with knowledge of the matter, that Nissan (OTC:) is developing growth plans in areas such as software and electric vehicles (EVs) independent of Renault SA (OTC:) (EPA:) as the automakers work to finalize terms of the limited alliance.
According to the report, Nissan is seeking a partner outside the auto industry to develop software that connects vehicles to cloud-based services, two people involved in discussions said, without elaborating on candidates. That would address a relative weakness for Nissan as it tries to make cars “smarter and more connected,” one of the people said.
The company is also working on a larger strategy for all new energy vehicles for North American and Asian markets that will be for Nissan alone, they said.
The revelations come as the alliance oversight board met this week to discuss a rebalance that will see Renault cut its stake in Nissan to 15% from 43% – matching the size of Nissan’s stake in Renault – and Nissan gain reciprocal voting rights.
Under the deal, to be finalized by mid-year, Nissan will also invest in the French automaker’s new Ampere EV business.
Nissan executives have voiced concerns in the past that Renault did not pay its fair share of costs for innovation and development. Nissan’s evolving strategy reflects a belief within the automaker that the 23-year-old alliance has run its course for many of the biggest challenges it faces, the people said.
While Nissan sees continued savings in shared parts procurement with Renault, it has no plan to provide engineering support to Ampere, said two of the people, who all asked not to be identified because talks between the pair are ongoing.
The automaker also has no plans to provide its e-Power hybrid technology to a gasoline powertrain-focused joint venture Renault has with China’s Zhejiang Geely Automobile Holdings (OTC:) Ltd (OTC:) and Saudi Aramco (TADAWUL:) Base Oil Co JSC, two of the people said.
In a joint statement to AKUURA, Nissan and Renault said they were working toward final partnership terms that would make them more competitive. They said they planned to detail already-announced cooperative projects for India and Latin America.
“The new structure enables faster and more flexible decision making,” the pair said in the statement.
They said, without elaborating, investing in Ampere would strengthen Nissan in Europe and “accelerate new business”.