According to Reuters Zetsche expressed his desire to continue work with alliance partner Renault-Nissan. The two companies are currently co-developing a new small car which will result in a new smart model.
“We are in the final path of co-development regarding Twingo and Smart,” Zetsche said, adding “That has not to be limited to one product and one segment. Others could be possible,” including compact cars.
Mercedes also provides Infiniti with a modular front-wheel drive architecture, which will underpin the upcoming Infiniti Q30.
“In relation to Infiniti, we have a much broader base to start with our new MFA platform,” he said, mentioning the possibility to assist the Japanese automaker in terms of production capacity, possibly with a North American location. “Mid-term or long-term — based on further ideas for this segment — we think that an addition of capacity is very likely, most likely necessary. And then there is the discussion where to locate that,” Zetsche said.
The CEO also mentioned Tesla, as Mercedes is looking to bring the B-Class Electric Drive to the US market later this year. The B-Class, along with the smart fortwo Electric Drive both use Tesla technology.
“Their project leader was a former member of our team, so we have a lot of very good links, a very constructive good relationship, which certainly has room for further expansion,” Zetsche said.
Finally, the CEO discussed the plans to share the Mercedes GL platform with Aston Martin, depending on the British automakers plans.