Getting Mercedes engineers to help may seem natural for anyone who wants to build a luxury car. So that is exactly what Carlos Ghosn has done – even though he is in charge of two rival carmakers, the alliance partners Renault and Nissan. Mr Ghosn is also the ultimate head of Nissan’s luxury car subsidiary Infiniti. And he has now revealed that a new, compact Infiniti will be built using Mercedes architecture.
The Infiniti-Mercedes platform sharing deal is the latest project in an 18-month-old strategic partnership between Daimler and the Renault-Nissan alliance.
The partnership also includes an agreement to supply Infiniti with Mercedes engines. In return, Mercedes will get to use Renault engines in its small A-Class model.
The carmakers are also producing a small delivery van that will be sold under the Renault and Mercedes badges, and they are working together on battery technology for electric cars.
And this is just the beginning, according to Mr Ghosn, as the partnership is set to deepen considerably, delivering savings of some 4bn euros ($5.5bn; Ј3.5bn) in the process.
Mercedes hopes the partnership will help it supply more small cars in the future, as it tries to regain the position as the world’s best-selling luxury car company, a position lost to BMW a few years ago.
Infiniti is also gunning for dramatic growth on the back of a string of new model launches, with its global sales set to more than treble over the next six years to some 500,000 cars per year.