TOKYO Jan 24 Nissan Motor Co and
Renault SA will combine their manufacturing and
research functions in a move that will save the alliance more
than 400 billion yen ($3.86 billion) a year, the Nikkei business
daily reported on Friday.
The initiative would mark one of the most drastic steps yet
in pooling together the long-time partners' resources -
something they initially struggled to achieve.
As a first step, the Renault-Nissan alliance, led by
dual-chief executive Carlos Ghosn, will appoint a manager to
oversee the production departments of both companies from as
early as April, following up with a similar structure for
research and development (R&D), the paper said.
Under the planned structure, Nissan and Renault will be able
to assemble cars, using shared parts, at the same factories, the
Nissan and Renault will adopt the new structure first at
their jointly held factory in India as early as in 2015,
expanding to more than 10 countries by 2020, the Nikkei said.
The alliance, which together owns nearly 50 factories
worldwide, plans to bring Russian affiliate Avtovaz
into the fold, the paper said.
Nissan declined comment on speculation concerning the
alliance's future plans and projects.
The Renault-Nissan partnership, formed in 1999, has said it
generated 2.69 billion euros ($3.68 billion) of new cost savings
in 2012, up from 1.75 billion euros in 2011.
Facing flagging sales in China, Europe and elsewhere, Nissan
in November warned of weaker profits and announced a management
makeover, promoting Chief Competitive Officer Hiroto Saikawa as
the de facto No.2 to oversee areas including R&D, purchasing,
manufacturing and the supply chain.
Shares in Nissan were up 0.6 percent on Friday,
outperforming a 1.7 percent drop in the benchmark Nikkei average
and a fall in other Japanese auto stocks.