Infiniti, Daimler to end joint development; Mexican plant will go on
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Nissan will a halt joint development program of luxury cars with Daimler's Mercedes-Benz, according to a Reuters exclusive report. A Mexican plant in the works in Aguascalientes, Mexico, will go on, but profitability from the project will be hurt.
Sources involved with the program told Reuters Nissan decided not to use an upgraded Daimler car platform that the companies have jointly funded, in part because its Infiniti brand was not performing well enough to absorb Mercedes technology costs.
The move could reduce efficiency at a US$ 1 billion shared factory opening this year in Aguascalientes, where both companies planned to use the same compact car architecture to cut complexity and production costs.
Nissan and Daimler are pushing ahead with Aguascalientes, where they will build Infiniti and Mercedes models for the U.S. and other markets from a single assembly line opening this year.
Now instead of using the updated Mercedes platform, Nissan will build its Infiniti vehicles based on Renault-Nissan architecture, starting with a new QX50 SUV this year (pictured).
Meanwhile Mercedes still has plans to manufacture an A-Class sedan and subsequent mini-SUV at the Mexican facility.