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Daimler, Renault-Nissan to develop engine, transmission technology

PARIS — Daimler and Renault-Nissan will jointly develop a turbocharged, direct-injection gasoline engine and will share transmission technology as the two companies expand their collaboration.

Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn and Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche confirmed the new projects today at a news conference during the Paris auto show press days. Ghosn said the joint effort has expanded since its inception in July 2010 to become a broad “strategic collaboration.”

The companies own small equity stakes in each other, but both Zetsche and Ghosn said they have no interest in a merger.

The direct-injection turbocharged engine will feature state-of-the-art technology in a compact package, aiming at tougher fuel economy and emissions targets in the European Union and United States.

The companies expect to jointly manufacture the engines. They will debut in Daimler and Renault-Nissan vehicles in 2016.

“These new components demonstrate how broadly and rapidly our collaboration is proliferating — while all the time remaining rooted in specific projects that give tangible benefits to our customers,” Ghosn said in a statement. “The relationship is expanding organically and logically.”

In the transmission project Daimler granted Nissan a license to manufacture automatic transmissions using Daimler technology for Nissan and Infiniti vehicles starting in 2016. Nissan subsidiary Jatco is planning to manufacture the licensed gearboxes in Mexico. The new transmission will feature “start and stop” and “park and shift by wire” technologies.