Mercedes four-cylinder engines will be built at a Nissan plant in Tennessee from 2014, it has been confirmed. The engines will be the first Mercedes road car units built in North America.
The deal, which is part of the Daimler and Renault-Nissan partnership agreed in 2010, means that the engines will be built for use on Infiniti and Mercedes cars.
Mercedes boss Dieter Zetsche confirmed that the engines would be used in the C-class, and denied that customers would be put off by buying a car with an engine built in a factory not run by a premium manufacturer.
"The factory meets our production standards and quality targets, so it's a win-win situation," said Zetsche. "Customers are quite used to the concept of different parts coming from different suppliers, so why should this worry them."
The partnership is expected to yield platform sharing between Renault and Smart and Mercedes and Infiniti, as well as lead to a greater swapping of engine and alternative powertrain technology. However, Zetsche was adamant it wouldn't lead to Renault-Nissan and Mercedes merging or taking more stock in each other.
"We share an office, not a bedroom," he said. "We entered the partnership with a couple of specific, pragmatic goals, and now we are finding even more areas that we can work together. In the future there will be more areas to co-operate on, I'm sure, but there is no rush."