AUTO

Renault, Daimler may team up on large vans as Opel tie-up ends after PSA-FCA merger

A new joint van agreement between Renault and Daimler would give fresh impetus to a partnership that has tailed off.

Renault has an alliance with Daimler that dates back to 2010. The cooperation has stalled since Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz decided to ax its slow-selling X-Class pickup. The model shared underpinnings with the Renault Alaskan and alliance partner Nissan’s Navara.

Daimler also ended its cooperation with Renault for its Smart brand. The minicars, which share technology with their platform sibling, the Renault Twingo Z.E., were built in France but were moved to China under a joint venture with Zhejian Geely Holding Group, Daimler’s biggest single shareholder.

Other joint projects have also tailed off over the years, partly because Daimler has cut back on purchases of Renault diesel motors, leading to questions over whether the partnership had a future. Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard said in June that the automaker wants to boost its alliance with Daimler.

Demand for vans of all sizes has jumped amid the COVID-19 pandemic, fueled by e-commerce deliveries as people have ordered more goods from home during lockdowns.

Renault faces increased competition in the van segment.

Ford and Volkswagen Group said last year that, as part an alliance they announced in 2019, they would collaborate on developing two vans.

Stellantis will combine the van-making resources and manufacturing scale of PSA and FCA companies.

Automotive News Europe contributed to this report

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