Chrysler and Nissan have been in talks for some time to strengthen their strategic relationship in the US, which started with Nissan affiliate JATCO delivering transmissions to Chrysler since 2004. Back in January the two companies announced that Nissan would supply Chrysler with a small car, based on the Versa for South America, starting in 2009. At that time, the companies stated that they would explore additional opportunities together.
Today Chrysler put out this press release:
AUBURN HILLS, Mich / TOKYO (April 14, 2008) – Chrysler LLC and Nissan Motor *** Ltd., today announced two new agreements for the supply of products between both companies. In January, Nissan agreed to supply Chrysler with a new car based on the Nissan Versa sedan for limited distribution in South America on an Original Equipment Manufacture (OEM) basis in 2009.
This new OEM exchange benefits both companies through range extension and the utilization of global manufacturing capacity. Highlights of the new agreement:
Nissan will manufacture an all-new, fuel-efficient small car based on a unique Chrysler concept and design. This new segment entry for Chrysler will be sold in North America, Europe and other global markets in 2010, and manufactured at Nissan’s Oppama Plant in Japan.
Chrysler will manufacture a full-size pickup for Nissan. Based on a Nissan unique design, this truck will be manufactured at Chrysler’s Saltillo (Mexico) Assembly Plant. In order to accommodate this product, Chrysler will shift volume from Mexico to its U.S.-based assembly plants that produce pickup trucks. Sales of the pickup in North America will start in 2011.
This latest OEM supply agreement extends a long standing product exchange relationship between the two corporations, with Nissan affiliate JATCO already supplying Chrysler with transmissions since 2004.
“Forging the right tactical partnerships is critical to the long-term success of Chrysler,” said Tom LaSorda, Chrysler LLC President and Vice Chairman. “It also builds on the Company’s inherent strengths, including the ability to respond rapidly and creatively to emerging opportunities.”
“In January, we said we would continue to look for additional OEM opportunities with Chrysler,” said Carlos Tavares, Executive Vice President, Nissan Motor Company. “This latest agreement builds on Nissan’s proven track record to deliver win-win product exchanges with multiple manufacturers around the world,” continued Tavares.
Since the signing of the first OEM agreement in January, the two companies have also agreed to maintain an open dialogue to explore further product-sharing opportunities.
What this means is Chrysler will benefit from Nissan's experience with small cars and Nissan would benefit from Chrysler's experience with full-size trucks. The new truck would be a Nissan design, presumably sitting on the next generation Ram HD frame utilizing Cummins power and would be built in Mexico. Dodge Ram HD production would shift to Chrysler's US factory in St. Louis. Where does this leave Toyota, who recently shelved its HD plans? Only time will tell.
Thanks www.pickuptruck.com for the tip!
It appears as if that the new Nissan will be a 1/2-ton replacement to the current generation of Titan, and not the HD that we reported on yesterday. The new truck will likely use the Ram frame, but will retain Nissan styling and other Titan elements. It is unknown if the Titan name will be retained or if the new Nissan will use the Ram's revolutionary coil-sprung rear suspension.