Renault, Nissan and Daimler are poised to launch an automotive threesome that will see engines and expertise shared across all three companies.
The move will allow Nissan's prestige arm, Infiniti, to use the four- and six-cylinder diesel engines from the Benz range.
The biggest winner though, will be Smart, Mercedes' groundbreaking, but far-from perfect city runaround. The tiny two-seater revolutionised the city car market, but is beset by problems, such as a jerky gearbox.
The new alliance will allow small-car experts Renault to help develop petrol, diesel and electric versions of the new Smart, sharing powertrains with the next Twingo.