Renault-Nissan and Daimler maintain they will retain their brand identities despite today’s (7 April) announcement of a strategic alliance that could see the German company establish a larger footprint in the small car segment.

Both parties insist the deal is a “strategic alliance” with the manufacturers claiming they have “no interest” in a merger.

“Each brand has its own identity and can allow its own kind of products and price level,” said Renault-Nissan chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn at a press conference in Brussels.

“Renault has its own plan to move up to move up little by little into the premium and luxury market. We need to keep each brand very different and there is no confusion about who is doing what.”

Ghosn also conceded the initial collaboration – which will see the groups partner on next-generation models as well as engage in a small equity exchange – will be “Europe-centric” but maintained tackling the US and emerging markets was also key.

He added several agreements had been concluded between the two groups, with contracts to be signed, although declined to detail what these might be.

“We are at the beginning now, we can work out in the open,” he said. “So far we have been working in a discreet manner, so we did not open too many doors.”

Those doors also remain firmly shut when it comes to detailing the breakdown of the estimated EUR2bn in synergy savings per group as Ghosn noted: “We promised ourselves we would not split the synergies – we have no intention to split that to powertrain, additional business or internal business.”

The range of initiatives announced this morning includes commitments to share Daimler engines for Nissan’s luxury division, Infiniti, while Renault-Nissan’s diesel engines and transmissions will be shared with the Mercedes-Benz Vito commercial vehicle line.