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The automotive world is in a bit of a funk after the Coronavirus pandemic left many manufacturers shut down while the world went on lockdown for a while. Now that automakers are starting to open up shop and get production going again, many are developing strategies to cope with losses in sales, loans they may need to bail them out of bankruptcy, and how to recover. Many automakers are mainly looking after their own backs, and it’s only natural – some mergers may be in trouble. The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance had some mid-terms plans to announce this month, and even in the world of social distancing, a virtual news conference took place to announce a new strategy.
Four points make up this new strategy: (1) increase standardization of vehicles, from platforms to bodies for more cross-brand development, (2) one automaker will release a leading vehicle in one segment, and depending on its success, the other two automakers will then release their own versions (engineered or rebadged) to keep competition alive, (3) continue to provide competitive setups for each brand where appropriate, and (4) continue to build on product sharing in light commercial vehicles, a strategy that is already using the leader-follow scheme the Alliance is now implementing on a wide scale. While keeping competition healthy, the Alliance is also starting to blend more together to provide new technologies, and this is what has our interest piqued.
Along with the development of new platforms that can be shared across brands, a successful strategy that is already prevalent with the CMF-B platform used for the Renault Clio and Nissan Juke, as well as the kei car platform for the Nissan Dayz and Mitsubishi eK Wagon, new powertrains and key technologies, have been announced with leadership already assigned:
Nissan recently announced its plans to deploy its own autonomous driving technology, ProPILOT, in 20 models by 2022, so there’s no surprise that the automaker is already working on a system, but this technology has also been demonstrated by Mitsubishi Motors sister company Mitsubishi Electric. Connected car technologies have been a technology many automakers are working towards, connecting vehicles to devices like Amazon Alexa or to other vehicles. The Alliance as a whole has been working on developing the technology for this, but we didn’t know an Android-based platform was already ready for release. Every automaker is working on some form of e-Powertrain with the shift towards alternative fuel vehicles, but when it comes to electric vehicle technology, Nissan and Renault seem to be focusing on this. That leaves plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) technology to Mitsubishi Motors, and it seems Mitsubishi will be leading the C/D segment with an entry. For those that don’t know the code, the C/D segment ranges from the subcompact car segment to the large car segment.
It’s a lot to look forward to, and we’ll be sure to keep tabs on what’s new. You can keep up with us when you follow NowCar on social media.