Renault-Nissan to Hire 300 in Bid to Lure Silicon Valley Talent

  • Most recruits will be software engineers with car experience
  • The move follows a push by Ford, GM and other carmakers

The Renault logo stands outside Renault SA's Technocentre automobile research center in the Guyancourt, near Paris.

Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

The Renault-Nissan alliance will begin hiring at least 300 tech experts this month, becoming the latest carmakers to try to lure workers away from Silicon Valley.

Most recruits will be software engineers with experience in vehicle connectivity and mobility services, a category that includes car-sharing, the alliance said. They will join a team led by Ogi Redzic, 45, an executive from Nokia Oyj’s former HERE maps unit hired in January to lead Renault-Nissan’s connected-cars initiative.

The move is part of a broader auto-industry push for technology experts to compete with the likes of Uber Technologies Inc., Google and Apple Inc. Last week, luxury-car maker Porsche said it had created a digital unit to seek technology partners and products, while Volkswagen AG’s trucks business said it was enlarging its digital division. Ford Motor Co. created a new unit this year called Ford Smart Mobility.

“We are in a global war for talent,” Renault-Nissan spokeswoman Rachel Konrad said.

Carmakers are also investing in startups: General Motors Co. owns part of Uber competitor Lyft Inc. and bought the self-driving software maker Cruise Automation Inc. in March. PSA Group acquired a stake in car-sharing company Koolicar, then announced 100 million euros ($111 million) of mobility-services venture capital investments in April.

The new Renault SA and Nissan Motor Co. unit will help the alliance meet its goal of introducing more than 10 models with autonomous-driving features by 2020. The team will be mostly split between Renault and Nissan research and development centers in Guyancourt, France, near Paris, and Atsugi, Japan. Redzic, 45, worked at the Navteq online maps division that became HERE. He left the mapmaker after a consortium of German carmakers bought the business.