Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi appeared at a press conference on Wednesday to promote their renewed alliance after Renault agreed to reduce its shareholding in Nissan. To achieve this agreement, the Japanese company agreed to invest 600 million in Renault’s electric car division, called Ampere, which will produce electric vehicles for the three members of this union. “The investments of Nissan and Mitsubishi (they will put 200 million) are very important for us, because it is a proof that the Alliance is moving faster,” said Luca de Meo, CEO of the Renault group. The aim is for all three to benefit from Ampere’s production platforms to reduce costs in an environment of strong competition against other European, American and especially Chinese manufacturers, who dominate the market and is coming soon to Europe.
In the Old Continent, Ampere will make an electric compact for Nissan, while for Mitsubishi it will make a C-segment SUV. . The cooperation of these companies is not limited to electric cars, but Nissan and Mitsubishi can also be clients of Horse (a company owned by Renault and the Chinese Geely) for the purchase of engines and gearbox for combustion vehicles.
Regarding the Ampere IPO studied by the Renault group, which is expected in the first half of 2024, De Meo assured that “it has not been delayed” (in the beginning there was talk that this same event would happen). but the company is waiting for “the right market conditions.” In this sense, he emphasized that the participation of Nissan and Mitsubishi gives more muscle to Ampere in front of an IPO.
Crossing tariffs between Europe and the United Kingdom
On the other hand, De Meo is optimistic about the negotiations between the European Union and the United Kingdom to delay the implementation of a 10% cross tariff on the sale of electric cars whose 45% of the value is not from Europe or the British country. The European motor industry has raised the alarm about this tariff set to take effect on January 1, which could mean a bill for the sector of around 4,000 million euros “over the next two or three years, ” according to De Meo.
Precisely this Wednesday, the European Commission proposed to delay the entry into force of this measure, which was agreed upon in Brexit, until 2027. The reason for this change is that the industry is having trouble meeting the 45% requirement because China controls the supply chain, value of batteries and it represents in most cases approximately half the cost of an electric car. This means that, even if the car is assembled in Europe or the United Kingdom, if the battery is from China it is very difficult to avoid the tax.
“The European battery value chain is not ready for the deadline imposed. More time is needed. Its delay is a pragmatic decision that all it does is recognize a fact (.. .) we cross our fingers that the authorities (European and United Kingdom) have common sense,” said De Meo. The new recommendation from the European Commission must be endorsed by the Twenty-Seven and then a a joint decision will be announced by the British Government.