Renault pulls plug on ICE vehicles in China
It will be focusing entirely on light commercial and electric vehicles.
The French OEM has made a far-reaching strategic decision for its Chinese operations. It will be focusing on Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV) and Electric Vehicles (EV) only, the consequence of which is that it will be terminating its joint-venture with Dongfeng, i.e. Dongfeng Renault Automotive Company. The latter will stop its Renault-branded activities, which means Chinese customers will no longer be able to buy ICE vehicles with the diamond-shaped logo, such as the Kadjar and the Koleos.
The rapidly changing LCV market in China reached 3.3 million new vehicle registrations in 2019 and is forecasted to maintain a steady upwards path. Renault’s LCV business is operated through Renault Brilliance Jinbei Automotive. Jinbei is a well-established brand with 1.5 million customers in China and close to 162,000 sales in 2019, Renault says. Existing Jinbei models will be modernised with the help of Renault, which has valuable expertise and leads the market in Europe. Also, the line-up will welcome a total of 5 core models by 2023. The joint venture will also export in the future.
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. Renault's EV business will be developed through the two existing joint ventures: eGT New Energy Automotive (eGT) and Jiangxi Jiangling Group Electric Vehicle Co (JMEV). Renault aims at reinforcing its partnership with Nissan and Dongfeng within eGT to make the now China-only K-ZE a worldwide car. A derivative for Europe based on the “Dacia Spring” concept will be sold from 2021.
With Renault support in terms of quality and technologies, JMEV will cover 45% of the Chinese EV market in 2022 with 4 core models, the manufacturer states.
Picture copyright: Renault, 2020