Renault’s local subsidiary, which came first in sales in the Argentine market with a 20.3% share, will start importing Japanese Nissan modelsbetween the end of this year and the beginning of 2001. Jean-Alexander Menard, President of Renault for Mercosur, stated that Nissan has no exclusive contract with its actual distributor, Cidef, though it will continue working with them too. He said Renault will select some of its concessionaries to sell Nissan products. It is not a new strategy.

Chile also has two importers. This is the first concrete step in Argentina by the alliance of the two companies worldwide, since Renault acquired a 36.8% share in Nissan. Industrial integration will begin in 2 years, when Nissan will start producing two models in Cordoba.

Early this month, they confirmed that they will invest US$100mil there in 2002 to produce two of the five models they will launch in Mercosur in the next seven years. As Nissan has no factories in the area, they will set up lines in the industrial complex owned by Renault in Santa Isabel. The latter is also a possible site to start producing the L, the model which will replace the Megane, though Menard would not confirm this yet. Production would not start until after 2002.

Renault also launched its new models for the Argentinean market: the 4-door Clio 2, manufactured in Brazil, and the Avantime, a prototype of futuristic design it will begin selling in Europe next year. They also showed the Renault Scenic RX4, to be sold from September 2001. The Clio 2 is being made in Santa Isabel and they hope to start selling from 15 August. Renault invested US$32mil in this project.