Nissan and Daimler are said to have agreed on plans for a 50-50 Mexican joint venture that will produce future Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz vehicles. According to an unnamed person with knowledge of the matter cited by Reuters, the two carmakers signed a memorandum of understanding last month to create the venture.
The joint venture is expected to build the next-generation Mercedes GLA crossover and all-new Infiniti cars at Nissan’s Aguascalientes plant northeast of Guadalajara. Neither Nissan nor Daimler would confirm the Mexico joint venture production plan.
Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and alliance partner Renault have so far shared engines, plants and vehicle platforms for small cars and vans since Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche and Renault Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn announced a broad-based partnership in 2010, including token reciprocal shareholdings.
In 2012, Nissan announced plans to build a first Infiniti model based on Mercedes’ current compact car architecture. Production of the vehicle, previewed by the Etherea concept, is scheduled to start next year in Sunderland, northeast England.
The collaboration between Renault-Nissan and Daimler has so far materialized in Mercedes-Benz getting the Citan small commercial vehicle, based on the Renault Kangoo, and small Renault diesel engines (1.5-liter and 1.6-liter) for the A-Class/B-Class and C-Class, respectively. On the other hand, Mercedes-Benz has supplied a 2.2-liter turbodiesel and a 2.0-liter turbocharged petrol unit for Infiniti’s Q50.
By Dan Mihalascu
Note: Photos from a previous meeting between Renault-Nissan and Daimler