Nissan Motor Co. will be a major customer to Renault SA’s combustion-engine venture as the partners push on with reshaping their troubled alliance and make progress in the EV transition.
The Japanese carmaker will receive gearboxes and engines for 12 of its plants, as well as half a million parts annually, the companies said Wednesday. Junior alliance partner Mitsubishi Motors Corp. will also be a customer alongside multiple others in the Horse combustion-engine unit, set up with China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co.
The steps are part of a major revamp of working together following years of growing tensions, allowing the manufacturers to take on new partners and independent ventures. This includes Renault’s plan to list its electric-vehicle business, targeting a valuation of as much as €10 billion ($10.8 billion), with both Nissan and Mitsubishi pledging significant investments.
“I am confident we can work together in new ways to realize benefits as partners,” Nissan Chief Executive Officer Makoto Uchida said during a joint press conference. The Japanese carmaker’s solid-state batteries, the potential next technology breakthrough for EVs, could be licensed by Renault and Mitsubishi in future, he added.
Mitsubishi said it will work with Renault on developing and making its first electric mid-size SUV through the French manufacturer’s Ampere EV unit. Earlier this year, Nissan finalized plans to invest as much as €600 million in Ampere, which has faced headwinds from an EV price war, alongside an earlier commitment of €200 million from Mitsubishi.
The two companies rebalanced their 24-year-old alliance last month as they announced the creation of a French trust to which Renault transferred 28.4 percent of Nissan shares.
In November, Renault Chief Executive Officer Luca de Meo said his company wants to start selling its stake in Nissan, worth about €4.3 billion, “very soon” as part of its ambitious electric-vehicle development plan. The plan to lower the stake removes a major source of tension for the partners.
Among other joint projects, Renault and Nissan said in February they will invest $600 million in India to expand their car lineup, add jobs and decarbonize a manufacturing plant in Chennai.