According to seven sources familiar with the matter, Nissan is focusing on developing growth plans in software and electric vehicles independently from its partner Renault as both automakers work on finalizing the terms of their alliance. As part of Nissan’s plans, the Japanese automaker is reportedly searching for a partner outside the auto industry to develop software that connects vehicles to cloud-based services. Two insiders, who are involved in the discussions, revealed that Nissan is targeting this move to address a relative weakness in the company’s technological capabilities, as it aims to make its cars “smarter and more connected.” However, no details on potential candidates were shared. As the automotive industry shifts towards smart, connected, and electric vehicles, Nissan is taking steps to keep pace with its competitors.
Nissan is developing an expanded strategy for all-battery and plug-in electric vehicles for the North American and Asian markets. This strategy is separate from the alliance with Renault, as the two automakers work to finalize the terms of a more limited partnership. Nissan is reportedly seeking to focus on areas where it has relative weaknesses, such as software development and connected vehicles, and is considering partnerships with companies outside the auto industry to address these areas. The alliance oversight board recently met to discuss a rebalance of the partnership, which will see Renault’s stake in Nissan reduced from 43% to 15%, matching Nissan’s stake in Renault. In addition, Nissan will gain reciprocal voting rights in Renault. As part of the deal, Nissan will also invest in Renault’s new Ampere electric vehicle business.
These developments mark a shift in the longstanding partnership between the two automakers and highlight Nissan’s desire to pursue its own growth plans in key areas. The expanded strategy for electric vehicles will allow Nissan to focus on its strengths in this area and better compete in the rapidly evolving automotive industry.
Nissan is charting its own course by developing growth plans in software and electric vehicles independent of Renault, as the two automakers work on the final terms of a scaled-back alliance. The plan involves seeking a partner outside the auto industry to develop software that connects vehicles to cloud-based services. This move is seen as a way to address a relative weakness for Nissan as it aims to make cars “smarter and more connected.”
The Japanese automaker is also working on an expanded strategy for all-battery and plug-in EVs for North American and Asian markets. This strategy will be for Nissan alone, according to sources familiar with the matter. This development comes as the alliance oversight board meets to discuss a rebalance. The deal, expected to be finalized by mid-year, will see Renault cut its stake in Nissan to 15% from 43%, matching the size of Nissan’s stake in Renault, while Nissan gains reciprocal voting rights.
The ongoing imbalance had long been a source of discontent among Nissan executives, who felt that Renault did not pay its fair share of costs for innovation and development. The emerging strategy of Nissan reflects the belief within the automaker that the 23-year-old alliance has run its course for many of the biggest challenges it faces. Although Nissan sees continued savings in shared parts procurement with Renault, it has no plan to provide engineering support to Renault’s new Ampere EV business.
Furthermore, Nissan has no intention of providing its e-Power hybrid technology to a gasoline powertrain-focused joint venture Renault has with China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co and Saudi Aramco Base Oil. However, Nissan does plan to share the technology with Mitsubishi Motors, the people said. Such go-it-alone thinking is shaping a longer-term plan that could be announced by year-end focusing on improved operational performance, electrification, and software allowing self-driving and other “connected car” features, one of the people said.