Nissan and Honda Consider Strategic Partnership to Boost Electric Vehicle Presence in China

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Nissan Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. have entered into a collaborative agreement to jointly develop electric vehicles (EVs). This partnership aims to compete with other Japanese automakers that have already formed alliances in the EV market.

Nissan, which has a long-standing alliance with Renault and has invested in the French firm’s new EV unit, restructured their partnership last year to make it more flexible. Renault has since forged agreements with new partners, including China’s GWM. Meanwhile, Nissan and Honda might both feel compelled to act, as they have experienced a decline in market share in China, the world’s largest car market.

Toyota and Mazda were the first Japanese automakers to form a partnership in the EV market, as they announced their joint venture in 2017. This partnership was established with the aim of developing electric vehicle technologies and sharing resources to compete with other global automakers in the growing EV market.

Following Toyota and Mazda’s partnership, in 2019, Subaru and Toyota announced a partnership to jointly develop a platform for electric vehicles. This partnership aimed to leverage Toyota’s expertise in EV technologies and Subaru’s all-wheel-drive capabilities to create a new line of EVs.

These partnerships were established before Nissan and Honda’s partnership in 2024, making Toyota and Mazda the earliest Japanese automakers to form a partnership in the EV market.

To counter this, Nissan and Honda could potentially collaborate on sharing vehicle powertrains, procuring parts together, and joining forces on battery production and EV joint development. Neither company has officially confirmed or commented on these reports as of March 2024.

As of March 2024, Nissan has a market cap of $15.22 billion, making it the 1176th most valuable company in the world, according to market data. Honda, with a market cap of $57.35 billion, ranks as the 332nd most valuable company globally.

Nissan, a pioneer in the EV market, introduced the Leaf in 2010, one of the first mass-produced electric cars, and estimates suggest that Nissan sold around 150,000 to 200,000 EVs globally in 2023. Honda, relatively new to the EV market, launched its first mass-produced EV, the Honda e, in 2020. Sales figures are likely lower than Nissan’s, with estimates suggesting Honda might have sold around 10,000 to 20,000 EVs globally in 2023.

Honda may benefit from Nissan’s electric vehicle (EV) platform specifically designed for EVs, called the CMF-EV platform. Honda has set targets for EVs by 2030: they aim to produce over 2 million EVs per year globally and have all their global automobile sales consist of EVs and FCEVs by 2040. Nissan, on the other hand, is targeting an electrification mix of over 50% globally across the Nissan and INFINITI brands by fiscal year 2030.

Nissan is investing significantly in battery technology to improve the range, performance, and affordability of their EVs, aiming to reduce battery costs by 65% by fiscal year 2028. They are also exploring solid-state batteries, which could offer advantages in terms of charging speed, range, and safety. Furthermore, Nissan is increasing its global battery production capacity to cater to the growing demand for EVs.

Nissan’s collaborations include the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance and a partnership with Waymo on self-driving car technology. Honda, for its part, has partnered with General Motors (GM) for certain EV components, particularly in the North American market, and with Sony to create a new electric vehicle company that leverages Sony’s expertise in entertainment and technology for future in-car experiences.