Tuesday, October 4, 2016


The clever and pragmatic alliance between Mercedes-Benz and Nissan's Infiniti division looks like spawning a new and bigger marriage, between Mercedes-Benz and the Renault-Nissan Alliance.

To save the cost of developing a new Infiniti entrant, lower down the price scale than the Q50 sedan, Nissan embraced the Mercedes-Benz GL A.

By taking the platform and the powertrain of the German compact hatchback, and designing its own 'top hat' Infiniti created an essential difference in appearances, and the Q30 was born.

I understand, from sources close to the boardrooms of both companies, that Mercedes-Benz and Nissan are now exploring a greater degree of platform sharing than previously discussed.

My 'mole' in Paris tells me that Mercedes-Benz has shown a lot of interest in the Renault-Nissan Alliance's CMF platform (Common Module Family). This is the platform which underpins the Renault Koleos, Nissan Qashqai, X-Trail, Rogue and the Renault Kadjar.

Maybe we could see Mercedes-Benz use the CMF platform to develop a sub-ML SUV.

Taking the whole alliance thing one step further, just imagine if Mercedes-Benz moves to a modular architecture for the next C and E class sedans; which Inifiniti could then utilse to replace the Q50.

These days anything's possible, but I happen to think that there is more than a grain of truth in this proposal and to me it makes perfect sense. Infiniti model development already costs Nissan a bundle, and globally Infiniti sales volumes are so poor, it may very well seek to offset future new model development costs by sharing with Stuttgart!

The SUV proposal was also being heavily discussed in Paris this week and whilst Mercedes-Benz has not previously considered an SUV smaller than the ML class; a car spawned from the CMF platform would give it a cheap entry into the market dominated by Audi and BMW's smaller SUVs like the X1/X3 and the Q3/Q5.

Way to go!

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