Nissan and Renault may merge to create new automaker
The French and Japanese automobile manufacturers, Nissan Motor Co and Renault SA, are currently discussing merging to create a new automaker.
According to Bloomberg, the potential merger would trade as a single stock and end the current alliance – which has been established since 1999 – with one formal corporation.
At current, Renault owns 43% of Nissan, with Nissan has a 15% stake in Renault.
Share in the French firm have risen by 5.4% since the news was announced.
“Markets tend to be enthusiastic about big mergers,” commented Professor of Strategic Management, Christian Stadler, Warwick Business School.
“Rarely, however, do these mergers live up to expectations. The envisioned synergies often don’t materialise as nitty-gritty details, particularly cultural differences, create substantial difficulties during integration.”
“A good example is one of the most spectacular deals in the industry: Daimler’s acquisition of Chrysler which turned out to be an extremely expensive adventure ended by the eventual sale of Chrysler.”
“A Renault/Nissan deal is slightly different. On the positive side, the two firms have a long established and successful alliance. The integration should be much more straight forward than in mergers such as Daimler and Chrysler.”
“But there is also a downside: It is hard to see how a merger can bring substantial new synergies. They already co-ordinate well, for example sharing engines and sharing platforms. Of course further co-ordination is possible but a merger is not necessary for this.”
“What the markets would get – and like – is more transparency as the reporting lines would be more straight forward.”
“There is no guarantee that this actually improves performance. All it does for sure is make it easier for analysts and investors to understand what’s going on. In other words it makes their job easier. They like that and reward it.”
"The complex governance of the alliance heavily relies on Carlos Ghosn. One motivation for the merger could be a preparation for a time after Ghosn.”
“It might be difficult for the next generation of leaders to step into a structure that relies on the networks he developed over time. A merger will create more straight-forward structures.”
Fluent.ai x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line
Fluent.ai has deployed its voice recognition solutions in one of BSH’s German factories. BSH leads the market in producing connected appliances—its brands include Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, NEFF, and Thermador, and with this new partnership, the company intends to cut transition time in its assembly lines.
According to BSH, voice automation will yield 75-100% efficiency gains—but it’s the collaboration between the two companies that stands out. ‘After considering 11 companies for this partnership, we chose Fluent.ai because of their key competitive differentiators’, explained Ion Hauer, Venture Partner at BSH Startup Kitchen.
What Sets Fluent.ai Apart?
After seven years of research, the company developed a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI) software products to help original equipment manufacturers (OEM) expand their services. Three key aspects stood out to BSH, which operates across the world and in unique factory environments.
- Robust noise controls. The system can operate even in loud conditions.
- Low latency. The AI understands commands quickly and accurately.
- Multilingual support. BSH can expand the automation to any of its 50+ country operations.
How Voice Automation Works
Instead of pressing buttons, BSH factory workers will now be able to speak into a headset fitted with Fluent.ai’s voice recognition technology. After uttering a WakeWord, workers can use a command to start assembly line movement. As the technology is hands-free, workers benefit from less physical strain, which will both reduce employee fatigue and boost line production.
‘Implementing Fluent’s technology has already improved efficiencies within our factory, with initial implementation of the solution cutting down the transition time from four seconds to one and a half”, said Markus Maier, Project Lead at the BSH factory. ‘In the long run, the production time savings will be invaluable’.
Future Global Adoption
In the coming years, BSH and Fluent.ai will continue to push for artificial intelligence on factory lines, pursuing efficiency, ergonomics, and a healthy work environment. ‘We started with Fluent.ai on one factory assembly line, moved to three, and [are now] considering rolling the technology out worldwide’, said Maier.
Said Probal Lala, Fluent.ai’s CEO: ‘We are thrilled to be working with BSH, a company at the forefront of innovation. Seeing your solution out in the real world is incredibly rewarding, and we look forward to continuing and growing our collaboration’.