Nissan will invest in Renault's Ampere in pursuit of global EV roadmap, CEO says

Nissan will invest in Renault's Ampere in pursuit of global EV roadmap, CEO says


Nissan will invest in Renault's Ampere in pursuit of global EV roadmap, CEO says

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ORAGADAM, India (Reuters) – Japan's Nissan Motor will invest in Renault's electric vehicle (EV) unit Ampere even after its listing plans fell through, while also evaluating its partnership with Honda Motor to further build its global EV expansion.

"We want to be a global (EV) player in the world," Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida told reporters during a press briefing in the southern Indian city of Chennai on Wednesday, adding that the company wants to deepen its partnership with Renault, and through that, it's presence in Europe.

"Therefore, regardless of the IPO whatsoever, we are looking at Ampere. We are already discussing about Ampere, our investment," Uchida added.

Nissan, in December, had confirmed it would invest 600 million euros ($650 million) in Renault's EV business Ampere, listing plans for which the French car-maker ditched earlier this year because of sluggish stock market conditions.

Renault's chairman said last month the decision will not delay investments from Nissan or other long-time partner Mitsubishi. This was echoed on the day by Nissan's top boss.

Uchida and Renault CEO Luca de Meo, in their first visit to India also noted that the country is a tough and competitive market and would require government support and an ecosystem for the transition to EVs.

Their visit signifies the importance of the South Asian nation as a future growth market especially as carmakers globally face intense competition from Chinese rivals.

The 91-year old Nissan Motor, which was once a pioneer in EVs with its all-electric Leaf model, is also simultaneously fielding a partnership with larger domestic rival Honda Motor, in a strategic bid to stave off stiff competition in the EV space from China's BYD, Tesla and other global automakers.

"With Honda, we just started to do the feasibility study," Uchida told reporters on Wednesday, without disclosing further details of the collaboration.

As per the non-binding MoU signed, Nissan and Honda are looking at areas of "potential collaboration", but have yet to determine the scope.

The automakers are open to working together in any region -- in Japan and overseas, Uchida had said earlier this month.

They will launch a five-seater and a seven-seater car under each brand in India with plans to export them, the alliance said, without providing a timeline.