Renault has announced a new strategy for its operations in China where it will no longer make and sell gas-powered vehicles, and instead focus on producing multiple electric vehicles.
The news is a bold step, but an understandable one. With 860,000 electric vehicles sold in China in 2019, China is by far the largest EV market in the world. EV sales are expected to reach 25% of the Chinese market by 2030. Groupe Renault will build on two of its key pillars electric vehicles and light commercial vehicles.
The French automaker has sold close to 270,000 electric vehicles in the world since 2011. It has recently launched the Renault City K-ZE, the first joint venture EV car competing in A segment with the best local automakers.
Groupe Renault expects to reinforce its partnership with Nissan and Dongfeng within eGT to make K-ZE a worldwide car. A derivative for Europe based on the Dacia Spring concept will be sold from 2021.
“We are opening a new chapter in China. We will concentrate on electric vehicles and light commercial vehicles, the two main drivers for future clean mobility and more efficiently leverage our relationship with Nissan,” said Francois Provost, chairman of China region of Groupe Renault.
As for LCVs, increasing urbanization rate, e-commerce extension, inner-city transportation schemes and versatile customers usages are the key characteristics of a rapidly changing LCV market in China. It reached 3.3 million in 2019 and is forecasted to maintain a steady upwards path.
Renault Brilliance Jinbei Automotive Co., Ltd. (RBJAC), launched in December 2017, is Groupe Renault’s sword arm for its LCV business in China.
With Renault expertise and technologies, RBJAC is modernizing Jinbei models and extending the line-up with a total of 5 core models by 2023. The joint venture will also export in the future.
Regarding ICE passenger cars, Groupe Renault has entered into a preliminary agreement with Dongfeng Motor Corporation under which Renault transfers its shares to Dongfeng. DRAC will stop its Renault brand-related activities.
Renault will continue to provide high quality aftersales service for its 300,000 customers through Renault dealers but also through Alliance synergies.
Further development for Renault brand passenger cars will be detailed later within future new mid-term-plan Renault.
Furthermore, Renault and Dongfeng will continue to cooperate with Nissan on new generation engines like components supply to DRAC and diesel license to Dongfeng Automobile Co., Ltd. Renault and Dongfeng will also engage in innovative cooperation in the field of intelligent connected vehicles.