Nissan is already heavily allianced with Renault for modern tech and parts share
Honda working with GM for EV and AV development
A new report suggests that the Japanese government was trying to push a merger between Nissan and Honda, most likely to help both attain greater technology and cost-sharing, but the plan was foiled when both companies rejected the idea.
The attempt was first floated to the two automakers late last year, says The Financial Times, who cites three people familiar with the effort. The government feared that Japan’s auto manufacturing base was losing its advantages as self-driving and electric vehicles changed the playing field and introduced more competitors.
As more and more automakers merge and partner with others, most recently the announced merger of Fiat Chrysler and PSA, Honda’s independence has come under scrutiny. Though that automaker has worked with General Motors on self-driving and electric vehicle development over the past few years.
While the chaos surrounding COVID-19 buried the efforts, they were likely already dead. Neither Honda nor Nissan, which is part of a now-struggling alliance with Mitsubishi and Renault, were interested in the partnership.
The report says Honda officials pushed back against Nissan’s complex involvement with Renault while Nissan opposed it as they try and get that same alliance back on track. FT also said that while Honda and Nissan are similar in new car sales, Honda’s large profits from motorcycles, as well as being the world’s largest maker of engines (that includes powersports and lawn and garden).
Nissan has been an EV pioneer, while conservative Honda has stuck with hybrids, much like larger Toyota, and has invested heavily into hydrogen-powered vehicles.