The group Renault announced Tuesday in a statement to give up the production of vehicles with thermal engine in China to focus on the electric and utility models.

“We are opening a new chapter in China. We will focus on electric vehicles and light commercial vehicles, “said François Provost, director of operations for the Chinese region of the French manufacturer, quoted in a statement.

“Groupe Renault will transfer its stake in Dongfeng Renault Automotive Company Ltd (DRAC, the joint venture set up with Dongfeng in 2013 around thermal vehicles, note) to Dongfeng Motor Corporation. DRAC will cease its activities related to the Renault brand ”, it is specified.

This partial withdrawal comes after the Renault group sold nearly 180,000 cars in the country in 2019, compared to 217,000 in the previous year (less than 1% of the huge Chinese market).

Union in 2013

The French group and its Chinese partner joined forces in 2013, and have a factory in Wuhan, in eastern China. The site employs 2,000 people, who manufacture the Renault Kadjar and the Koleos there.

Dongfeng and Renault will, despite Tuesday’s announcement, continue to collaborate on the electric vehicle segment, on which the two manufacturers and Nissan set up a dedicated joint venture in August 2017.

Produced in their Wuhan factory, the K-ZE aims to become “a global car. A derivative based on the Dacia Spring concept will be marketed in Europe from 2021 ”, details the press release.

Still on the electric vehicle market, Renault will also rely on another joint venture (JMEV), built with local manufacturer JMCG. “With Renault’s support in quality and technology, JMEV plans to cover 45% of the Chinese EV market in 2022 with four main models,” he said. Some 860,000 electric models were sold in China in 2019, enough to make it “the largest market in the world”.

In terms of utility vehicles, Renault is counting on its partner Jinbei, in which it bought 49% of the shares in December 2017, to develop. The brand is “well established with 1.5 million customers in China and nearly 162,000 sales in 2019” (out of 3.3 million LCV sold in the country), explains Renault. (ats / nxp)

Created: 04/14.2020, 08:32

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