CEOs of Renault-Nissan and Daimler

CEOs of Renault-Nissan and Daimler

In the latest step forward in the collaboration of Daimler and Renault-Nissan that commenced in 2010, the two auto giants have announced today they will start building new Mercedes-Benz four-cylinder engines at a plant in the U.S.

The engines, which will eventually appear in several Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti models starting in 2014, will be built at Nissan’s engine plant in Decherd, Tennessee.

Production numbers for the engines should top 250,000 annually, helping both automakers benefit from localized capacity and reduced exposure to foreign exchange rates--something Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has been very vocal about in recent months.

While no details on the engines have actually been released, candidates include Mercedes’ turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder found in the current C Class range and a new 2.0-liter turbo four. Infiniti is expected to use the engines in its G family, while Mercedes will use them in its next-generation C Class, which will start production in the U.S., also in 2014. 

As previously reported, the alliance between Daimler and Renault-Nissan centers around three main pillars: the joint-development of a new minicar platform for the next-generation Smart ForTwo and Renault Twingo due in 2014, the development of a new city van for Mercedes-Benz due later this year, and finally the cross-sharing of engines and technologies like the new Mercedes four-cylinder announced today. Daimler will eventually supply Nissan and Infiniti with four- and six-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines from the current and future engine portfolio as well as with automatic transmissions.

Other areas where the automakers will collaborate include the supply of a Mercedes-engineered small car platform for use in an upcoming Infiniti, as well as the joint-development of new electric drive systems.