Daimler AG's and Renault SA's boards approved plans for a global alliance focusing on sharing small- car technologies and development costs, according to people familiar with the matter.
A deal involving Renault and Japanese partner Nissan Motor Co. swapping stakes with Daimler is set to be announced Wednesday, said the people, who asked not to be identified before an official statement. Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche and Renault-Nissan's Carlos Ghosn will attend a joint press conference in Brussels tomorrow, according to invitations from the carmakers that didn't disclose the topic.
Automakers are under pressure to cooperate as sales remain depressed in the recession's aftermath while the manufacturers spend more on technology to meet tighter exhaust-emissions standards. An alliance of Daimler and Renault-Nissan would follow a tie-up between Volkswagen AG and Suzuki Motor Corp. earlier in 2010 and Fiat SpA's taking a stake in Chrysler Group LLC last year.
“The cooperation is really being forced by the European Union,” said Arndt Ellinghorst, an automotive analyst in London at Credit Suisse Group AG. “Carbon dioxide emissions targets can't be reached without selling a significant amount of small cars.”
Florian Martens, a spokesman for Daimler, and Caroline De Gezelle, a spokeswoman for Renault, declined to comment.