Nissan, Renault to jointly develop platform: report

TOKYO, Sept 23, 2010 (AFP) - Japan's Nissan Motor and its partner Renault of France will jointly develop a platform for at least 10 models of to consolidate suppliers and cut procurement costs, a report said Wednesday.

The two companies, which intend to design the common platform for medium-sized sport utility vehicles and sedans, also plan to standardise 70 key components, including windows and brakes, the Nikkei business daily said.

The key components account for about 80 percent of the total cost of parts and materials, the report added.

With bulk purchasing leading to lower unit prices, the automakers expect to eventually cut parts procurement costs for midsize vehicles by about 30 percent, or several billion dollars a year, Nikkei said.

Renault owns 44 percent of the number-three Japanese maker, which also has a 15-percent share in the French firm.

Nissan and Renault produce the Micra at a joint venture in India.

The common platform and standardised parts will be used in vehicles from 2013 and account for about 1.5 million units a year -- roughly a quarter of the total that the two firms sold globally last year, the daily said.

Nissan's X-Trail and Dualis SUVs and Renault's Fluence sedan and Megane are among the models that will share the platform and components, Nikkei added.

The partners have begun examining possible suppliers for the standardised parts, with final selections to be made starting this autumn.

Nissan moved under Renault's umbrella in 1999, and the two firms established a joint procurement organisation in 2001. They began buying all materials and parts through this entity in April 2009. But because the two share only eight types of components, including air conditioners and batteries, the cost benefits so far have been limited.

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