Nissan, Renault to participate in online auto parts exchange

Nissan Motor Co. and French automaker Renault SA announced Friday that they will take part in an online procurement exchange to be set up by General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler AG.

Nissan and Renault said in a statement that they will join as an equity partner in the new business-to-business Internet portal that will link automakers to suppliers and allow them to cut costs on auto equipment.

Both auto and parts makers expect the portal will represent savings of more than $1 trillion, Nissan and Renault officials said.

They added that the service will allow for more than procurement activities and, for example, will enable manufacturers and suppliers to jointly develop projects.

It will also promote the integration of components suppliers in the products and production tools development process, reduce development lead times and cut costs.

Three advisory boards will be set up in North America, Europe and Asia for the online exchange, with Renault and DaimlerChrysler responsible for the European board and Nissan for the Asian board, they said.

Renault and Nissan will also form a team to work alongside the other automakers in the development of the exchange platform.

Valeo, Ichikoh to link

French auto parts manufacturer Valeo SA has reached a basic agreement on a capital tieup with Ichikoh Industries Ltd., an automotive lighting equipment maker affiliated with Nissan Motor Co., sources familiar with the negotiations said Friday.

Under the agreement, Valeo’s automotive lighting equipment unit will buy most of the 20.7 percent stake Nissan has in Ichikoh and become its top shareholder.

Ichikoh will also acquire a similar stake in the Valeo affiliate.

The companies will announce the deal next Monday, the sources said.

The capital tieup will enable Valeo and Ichikoh to establish a foothold in each other’s automotive lighting market and expand operations into the world market, the sources said.

Valeo is a close business ally of Renault SA. In line with Renault’s alliance with Nissan, Valeo has been strengthening ties with Nissan group companies. It is already cooperating with Unisia Jecs Corp. in clutches, and with Zexel Corp. in car air conditioners.