Daimler AG, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, and Nissan, the owner of the Infiniti luxury brand, have reportedly finalized a joint venture deal to build future Mercedes and Infiniti compact cars in Mexico.
According to a report from Reuters citing sources with knowledge of the matter, the two companies are preparing to announce a “substantial investment” to develop Infiniti vehicles based on Daimler’s front-wheel drive platform and assemble them at Nissan’s Aguascalientes plant in Mexico.
The plans will help Infiniti develop the lower end of its range with a new SUV, sedan and coupe sharing parts and architecture with successors to the Mercedes A- and B-Class, GLA and CLA, the sources said. The 50-50 joint venture will help Nissan expand the Infiniti lineup while Daimler will see its North American production increased and its relationship with the Renault-Nissan Alliance reinforced.
Daimler will thus get a first production line in North America for its compact family, as well as development savings and economies of scale, which are very important in a segment with relatively low profit margins.
The CEOs of Daimler and Renault Nissan, Dieter Zetsche and Carlos Ghosn, will unveil the new cooperation deal on Friday at 13.30 GMT, the companies said. The new manufacturing deal is expected to be the largest project of the collaboration between Daimler and the Renault-Nissan Alliance so far.
By Dan Mihalascu