Strategic collaborations don’t get much more global than the Renault-Nissan Alliance. The two carmakers established their formal relationship in 1999 and over the intervening years they have progressively strengthened and deepened their connections in an ongoing quest to increase efficiency and boost revenues.
While the companies remain separate businesses, by 2014 this effort had led to the formal convergence of four key functions: engineering, manufacturing & supply chain management, purchasing and human resources. In 2015, the Alliance sold 8.5 million vehicles across its eight different brands, making it the world’s fourth largest car manufacturing group, with around 10 percent of the global vehicle market.
Today, the Alliance operates a cross-production strategy, building vehicles from both brands on the same production lines in several plants around the world. It has also developed a system of modular vehicle architectures, known as the Common Module Family (CMF), which allows a wider range of cars to be built from a smaller pool of parts. It expects 70 percent of its vehicles to use this approach by 2020.
From the outset, the Alliance has seen the supply chain as a key area of opportunity for synergies, and it was the second function to undergo the convergence process, after purchasing. Today, the converged supply chain covers 106 production sites worldwide and 23 logistics platforms located in 17 countries. It supplies finished vehicles to customers in nearly 200 countries.