The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, which was the world’s largest automaker in 2019, is in a severe internal crisis. Both Renault and Nissan, the singing voices of the Alliance, are making significant changes to their leadership and their strategic plans to reverse their current economic losses since the Franco-Japanese giant has been one of the groups hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis.
One of the points on which Renault and Nissan will focus to overcome the current situation is the enhancement of their joint developments. To save costs, both companies will significantly increase their synergies in all market segments. The other common point of its corporate strategy will be a firm commitment to the electric car.
Renault has recently signed Luca de Meo, a former SEAT boss, as its new CEO. The manager, who has quickly added the renowned brand Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos (SEAT) and Guilles Vidal (Peugeot) to the design team of the French brand, has reconfigured the manufacturer’s strategy, announcing a firm commitment to compacts cars and SUVS to stop depending mostly on utilities because of the profit margin.
It is known that Renault plans to launch a medium-sized electric SUV by 2022, which will soon be followed by an electric compact similar in size to the Megane. However, some rumors suggest that the brand could have unfrozen the LCI project, from which Renault will develop an electric substitute for the Talisman.
These rumors fit with a recent report that Nissan will replace the Maxima with an electric saloon derived from the prototype IMs Concept in 2022. Currently, Nissan has an offer of four sedans (Versa, Sentra, Altima, and Maxima) in the United States, being the Altima and Maxima two models of almost identical dimensions that overlap at the top of the range of the Japanese manufacturer.
While the unprofitable Versa will disappear and the Sentra and Altima will remain thermal saloons for a time, the Maxima will become a rival to the Tesla Model 3. Initially, the electric Nissan Maxima and Renault Talisman will be the same vehicle, differing for its aesthetics and elements such as the 4Control directive rear-wheel system. Renault will continue to bet on its future launches to differentiate itself from its Japanese partner. Both models will use the CMF-EV modular platform and will be sold in separate markets (the Maxima in the United States and Japan, the Talisman in Europe and South Korea, although they could coincide in China).