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Mercedes and Renault link up

Date: 22 April 2010

Mercedes-Benz parent firm Daimler and the Renault-Nissan Alliance have confirmed a reciprocal taking of small stakes in each others' firms in a move that will lead to a range of links between the two brands on new products.

New versions of the Smart Fortwo and Renault Twingo from 2013 will be one result, with the firms confirming that electric variants of both will be available from launch.

Mercedes has also confirmed it will provide a range of diesel engines for Nissan's luxury Infiniti brand, filling a problem gap in Infiniti's model line-up. Infiniti will also receive Mercedes' petrol engines, while in return Mercedes will benefit from Renault-Nissan's expertise in small three- and four-cylinder units for the next range of A- and B-class models.

The arrangement also extends to commercial vehicles, with Mercedes confirming it will launch a new entry-level van in 2012, using Renault's Kangoo underpinnings as a base model. The medium-sized Vito van will also benefit from the tie-up, gaining a small diesel engine and transmission from Renault-Nissan.

The firms will also look at sharing more components between Mercedes and Infiniti, as well as development of electric vehicles, in the future.

"Daimler and the Renault-Nissan Alliance are combining common interests to form a promising foundation for a successful, strategically sound co-operation based on a number of very concrete and attractive project co-operations. Our skills compliment each other well," said head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Dr Dieter Zetsche. "Right away we are strengthening our competitiveness in the small and compact car segment".

Chief executive of the Renault-Nissan Alliance Carlos Ghosn said the link-up will help as the firm works on "broadening and strengthening our product offering, efficiently using all available resources and developing the innovative technologies required in the coming decade."