Renault and Nissan to build two small electric cars in India

Renault and Nissan are investing around 600 million dollars in India to produce six new models at their joint plant in Chennai. These will include the first two electric cars companies will build in India.

The two EVs will be A-segment and will also be exported – but that is all the details the partners have revealed so far. And that they will “build on the experience and expertise of both brands in the electrification of the mass market, which began with the Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe more than a decade ago.”

The six new models, three from each company, will be built at the Chennai factory and be based on common alliance platforms, meaning there will likely be one Renault and one Nissan EV with similar technology. The common basis will likely be the CMF-AEV (Common Module Family) platform, mentioned a few days ago for future projects in Latin America and India.

The carmakers’ abovementioned investment of 600 million dollars will not only go into production preparation for the new models. It will also strengthen research and development near Chennai. There is talk of creating 2,000 additional jobs at the Renault-Nissan Technology & Business Centre. The centre will focus on both Indian and international projects.

As part of this new product and development drive in India, Renault and Nissan will also reorganize their shareholdings in their joint operations. Under a new framework agreement, Renault Nissan Automotive India Private Ltd (RNAIPL) will be 51 per cent owned by Nissan and 49 per cent by Renault. The Renault Nissan Technology Business Centre (RNTBCI) will be 51per cent owned by Renault and 49per cent owned by Nissan in the future. “This will strengthen the partnership in the long term and give the joint ventures more responsibility and autonomy,” according to statements from both headquarters.

India was once home to the alliance’s first joint production facility. The alliance partners speak of a “new chapter with new vehicles, new research and development activities, and new export markets that will take our joint activities to the next level.”

Last week, the Renault-Nissam-Mitsubishi Alliance outlined its goals for the coming 15 years. These include joint EV activities in Latin America, India, and Europe – for the latter, there was talk of a joint 800-volt platform.

The new initiatives also include a reorganization of mutual shareholdings. After an initial announcement at the end of January, it is now clear that Nissan intends to take a stake of up to 15 per cent in Ampere, the Renault Group’s future independent electric car division. Mitsubishi is also considering a stake in Ampere. In the case of Mitsubishi, details on the possible amount remain unknown.


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