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Mercedes To Abandon Renault Nissan Partnership As New Incoming CEO Marks His Territory


Daimler will install a new CEO in May, mustachioed Dieter Zetsche is due to step down and move into the Chairmanship role of Daimler Benz. Dieter Zetsche has been the CEO of Daimler since 2006, much has changed during his time at the helm. But time is everyone’s enemy and a younger replacement is waiting in the wings. Ola Källenius began his professional career with Daimler Benz in 1993. He’s different from Zetsche in that he is a graduate of economics and finance, Zetsche is from a pure engineering background.

Like an animal marking its territory, so to does Ola Källenius intend to mark his territorial ambitions when he picks up the CEO reigns in May. And he is making a beeline for the Renault-Nissan partnership. Källenius intends to let the partnership run its course. Renewal is not an option.

Such automotive partnerships rarely find the savings they were intended to do. Especially since the arrest of Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, which has caused on-going projects to become somewhat stalled.

That means the future of the Mercedes X Class is all but extinct, it is based on the Nissan Navara. The overall partnership extends to engine sharing and a joint production facility.

The Renault Twingo is based on the Mercedes compact brand Smart ForFour. Both companies share a production facility in Mexico. All these “common projects” will eventually cease.

Reports suggest Källenius will introduce cost-saving measures (in other words job cuts) due to a 22 percent plunge in fourth-quarter operating profits.


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