FRANKFURT, June 27 Daimler and
Renault Nissan will invest 1 billion euros ($1.36
billion) to develop small cars and build a factory in Mexico,
the companies said on Friday, in a step that deepens cooperation
between the Mercedes and Infiniti brands.
The companies, which will share costs for the joint venture,
said they will build a new plant with a production capacity of
300,000 vehicles in Aguascalientes, Mexico, where Nissan already
has a factory.
In March, sources told Reuters that Mercedes and Infiniti
plan to pool development of compact cars to cut costs, expand
the German carmaker's North American production footprint and
broaden the Infiniti lineup.
Nissan, Mercedes and alliance partner Renault have
shared engines, plants and vehicle underpinnings for small cars
since Daimler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche and Renault-Nissan
boss Carlos Ghosn forged an alliance in 2010 underpinned by
token reciprocal shareholdings.
(Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Harro ten Wolde)