Nissan halts joint development of luxury cars with Daimler
Japan Today -- Jan 09
Nissan is halting joint development of luxury cars with Daimler's Mercedes-Benz, sources close to the companies told Reuters, suspending a key project in their seven-year partnership and potentially hitting profitability at a new shared factory in Mexico.

Nissan decided in October its premium Infiniti brand would not use "MFA2", an upgraded Daimler car platform that the companies have jointly funded, in part because Infiniti was not performing well enough to absorb Mercedes technology costs, the sources said.

"It wasn't possible to close a deal on the basis of MFA2," said one of the people. "The targets set by Infiniti were too difficult to achieve."

The move could reduce efficiency at a $1 billion shared factory opening this year in Aguascalientes, Mexico, where the companies had planned to use the same compact car architecture to cut complexity and production costs, two of the sources said.

It could also ultimately force Nissan to write down part of a 250 million pound ($306 million) investment at its UK plant that included Mercedes-based tooling, they added.

Daimler and Nissan pursue joint programmes only when "beneficial for both sides", the companies said in separate statements to Reuters, without directly addressing emailed questions about their plans for MFA2 vehicles.

Projects are constantly reviewed against targets to account for "developments beyond the control of management", they added, and discussions about joint development of future premium compact cars are ongoing.

Nissan's decision deals a blow to the broad cooperation deal struck between Renault-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn and his Daimler counterpart Dieter Zetsche in 2010.

It also underscores the mixed results of Nissan's battle over almost three decades to transform Infiniti into a significant global player in the lucrative luxury car market.

News source: Japan Today
Jan 21
The Environment Ministry said Friday that it has punished a 71-year-old part-time worker at Shinjuku Gyoen National Park in central Tokyo for neglecting to collect entry fees from some non-Japanese speakers. (Jiji)
Jan 21
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent Donald Trump a message celebrating his inauguration as new president of the United States in Washington on Friday. (Jiji)
Jan 21
The manufacturer of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet plans to postpone its first delivery until mid-2020. (NHK)
Jan 21
The administration of new US President Donald Trump has announced through the White House website its intention to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement. (NHK)
Jan 21
Workers at a maker of fermented kanzuri seasoning scatter red peppers on snow-covered rice paddies in Myoko, Niigata Prefecture, on Friday. (the-japan-news.com)
Jan 20
Over 9.4 million foreign tourists visited Osaka last year, the largest number ever, Osaka tourism authorities announced earlier this week. (Japan Times)
Jan 20
The position of the Japan-U.S. alliance as the linchpin of Japanese foreign policy and security is an "unchanging principle," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a policy speech Friday hours before the inauguration of the next U.S. president. (Kyodo)
Jan 20
The number of people who committed suicide in Japan in 2016 fell 9.4 pct from the previous year, its fastest decline on record, the health ministry said in a preliminary report Friday. (Jiji)
Jan 20
The organizing committee of the 2017 Asian Winter Games to be held in Hokkaido, northern Japan, next month has asked a Japanese hotel chain to take appropriate measures amid criticism for its owner's denial of the 1937 Nanjing incident. (Jiji)
Jan 20
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has ordered all of the country's ministries and agencies to check whether their officials helped colleagues secure post-retirement jobs. (NHK)