Under the deal, Renault will plough £3.3 billion into the debt-laden Japanese manufacturer to give it a 36.8% stake in Nissan Motor, 22.5% of Nissan Diesel and ownership of five European finance divisions, in the UK, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain. Nissan has an option to take a financial stake in Renault in the future. Renault will be looking closely at where to save cash elsewhere in Nissan as it looks to disprove predictions in the motor industry that the deal could cost it heavily.
Renault's financial injection and savings will only make a small hole in Nissan's estimated debts of more than £20 billion with losses of some £65 million last year. The deal, which must be approved by Nissan and Renault shareholders in separate annual meetings in June, will create a partnership with annual production of some 4.7 million units, placing it behind General Motors, Ford and Toyota.
Daniel Ward, corporate affairs director for Nissan UK, said: 'We won't see any real difference in the UK immediately. It is physically impossible to bring in the changes in less than three years. There is a clear benefit to retaining both brands. I think you only have to look at the Volkswagen Group to see what can be done with a small number of platforms and different brands. The savings are significant.'