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Nissan, Renault unveil new steps to cut costs, revamp alliance

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Renault and Japanese partners Nissan Motor and Mitsubishi Motors unveiled steps to standardise platforms further and push for more joint purchasing to reduce costs, which each company focusing on its strengths, as they prepare restructuring measures to survive.

[PARIS] Renault and Japanese partners Nissan Motor and Mitsubishi Motors unveiled steps to standardise platforms further and push for more joint purchasing to reduce costs, which each company focusing on its strengths, as they prepare restructuring measures to survive.

The measures will help deliver savings of as much as 40 per cent in model investments for jointly developed vehicles, the companies said in a statement Wednesday. Nissan will focus on autonomous driving, Renault on the body of electric cars and electric powertrains while Mitsubishi Motors will work on plug-in hybrids, they said.

Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors need each other more than ever now, with the global coronavirus pandemic forcing automakers to shutter showrooms and factories. The industry is also facing a once-in-a-generation shift to electric vehicles and autonomous driving that will require significant investment in technology and filter out losers and winners. After coming under strain last year, the partnership is seeking a fresh start, backed by new measures at the companies to improve profitability.

"The three companies of the alliance will cover all vehicle segments and technologies, across all geographies, for the benefit of every customer, while increasing their respective competitiveness, sustainable profitability and social and environmental responsibility," Jean-Dominique Senard, chairman of the Alliance Operating Board and Renault, said in the statement.

Renault is preparing to unveil on Friday a cost-cutting plan worth 2 billion euros (S$3.11 billion) over three years that is expected to include site closures in France and staff reductions. Nissan is due to announce its own restructuring plan on Thursday that will cut costs by 300 billion yen (S$3.95 billion) and phase out the Datsun brand, a person with knowledge of the matter has said.

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