At the core of the plan is what the companies are calling “leader-follower.”
Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi will divvy up technologies, segments and individual world markets into spheres of influence. One company will lead in each given area to avoid duplication and save resources.
The approach will likely increase interdependence without a full merger by allowing an individual company to hand off work in some areas to one of its partners. Under this divide-and-conquer approach, for example, Nissan will spearhead midsize crossover development for all three automakers around the world.
Key to the plan is stepped-up commonization across all three companies. In the past, the companies worked on common vehicle platforms. They are now extending that to include the upper bodies of vehicles.
The group expects big savings from that change. But at the same time, the alliance plans to cut the number of vehicle platforms by nearly half to just four. The approach will designate a “mother…