The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance is reported to be pooling $200 million in a new mobility tech fund in what is being described as the latest move by major carmakers to adapt to rapid industry change by investing in startups through their own venture capital arms.
Reuters says the fund, due to be unveiled by Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn at the CES tech industry show in Las Vegas, will be 40% financed by Renault 40% by Nissan and 20% by Mitsubishi.
Reuters quotes a source from one of the companies as saying, “It will allow us to move faster on acquisitions ahead of our competition.”
“CVC funds, a familiar feature of innovative sectors such as tech and pharmaceuticals, have become more commonplace among carmakers since the 2008-9 financial crisis,” the report says. “They let companies skip some of the formalities otherwise required for new investments, and pounce more swiftly on promising startups. The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi venture will also obviate the current need to thrash out the ownership split for each new alliance acquisition.”
The report adds that this investment represents a further step in the integration of the carmakers as they pursue 10 billion euros in annual synergies by 2022. France’s Renault holds a 43.4 percent stake in Nissan, which in turn controls Mitsubishi. Ghosn heads Renault and chairs all three.