|Will Nissan's Euro plans have it coming in from the cold?|
Selling cars in Europe is challenging, with it's regulatory pressures, capacity issues, political meddling and tight margins. For Renault, Europe is where it is based and sells far most of its cars. It has to make Europe work. For Nissan, Europe is not essential for its well being, with most of its sales elsewhere. It does have a huge European plant in Sunderland, UK which you couldn't see them walking away from.
So how do these two companies - who share an alliance but their main focus in different regions - make Europe work in a collaborative way? There is a plan circulating but it's unofficial. It mainly outlines a pathway forward for Nissan, with Renault's to come out soon.
It indicates that Sunderland will take the lead in design and manufacturing SUV's for both Nissan and Renault. Would the Captur and Kadjar assembly be moved to the UK? That's a little unclear. Renault would take the lead in the design and manufacturing of light commercials for both brands as well as small cars. A few other models Nissan would need for Europe could be imported from Japan.
With Nissan making LCVs in Spain as well as SUV's, it raises the question as to what the future is there. That will be announced soon but with over capacity in Europe and Nissan to lose a production shift as part of the shake up, that will be a tough decision.
What this does (if it transpires) is assign Nissan and Renault specific areas to lead in, maintaining each company's independence for technology regarding design and engineering. Each manufacturer would take the lead in what they do best. It sounds like good plan.