Renault, Nissan Aim For $2 Billion In Cost Cuts

PARIS (AP) -- The head of the alliance between Renault SA and Nissan Motor Co. said Friday he wants to squeeze out an extra euro1.5 billion ($2.08 billion) in cost savings this year to get the French and Japanese automakers through the economic crisis.

Carlos Ghosn, who serves as CEO of both companies, said in a statement that 10 years of alliance has created value for both companies, but that greater synergies are needed to "get us through the crisis and position us competitively for the future."

"Today, we have to move faster," he said. "Seeking synergies is no longer optional, but mandatory."

The Renault-Nissan alliance was established in March 1999 and is based on cross shareholdings. Renault holds a 44 percent stake in Nissan, while Nissan holds 15 percent of Renault shares.

The 2009 savings will be "evenly divided between the two alliance partners," the car makers said in a statement.

They are targeting euro363 million in savings from sharing manufacturing and logistics. Renault's plant in Brazil will produce two additional Nissan vehicles and Nissan's plant in South Africa will build two additional Renault vehicles.

Savings on the development of engines will generate euro289 million of synergies.

The use of interchangeable components on Renault and Nissan vehicles and common platforms will bring euro279 million of savings and purchasing synergies will generate savings of euro157 million.

On Friday, Renault shares were trading up 4 percent at euro27.54. Nissan shares were up 1.78 percent at 571 yen.

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