Renault shifts to all-electric cars for China

The strategy shift comes after years of sluggish sales in China, where Renault hoped its 50-50 venture with Dongfeng would allow it to make inroads quickly.
By : AFP
| Updated on: 14 Apr 2020, 02:25 PM
File photo: An employee works at a Renault assembly plant in Wuhan, Hubei province, China. (REUTERS)
File photo: An employee works at a Renault assembly plant in Wuhan, Hubei province, China. (REUTERS)
File photo: An employee works at a Renault assembly plant in Wuhan, Hubei province, China. (REUTERS)
File photo: An employee works at a Renault assembly plant in Wuhan, Hubei province, China.

French automaker Renault said Tuesday that it would start building only electric vehicles for China's huge passenger car market, dropping conventional internal combustion engines as well as its joint venture with local manufacturer Dongfeng.

The strategy shift comes after years of sluggish sales in China, where Renault hoped its 50-50 venture with Dongfeng, announced in 2013 and focused on a factory in Wuhan, would allow it to make inroads quickly.

Similar Cars

Find More Cars
Hyundai Kona Electric (HT Auto photo)
Hyundai Kona Electric
cc | Electric | Automatic
₹23.79 - 23.98 Lakhs**Ex-showroom price
Renault Kwid (HT Auto photo)
Renault Kwid
799 cc | Petrol | Manual | 25 kmpl
₹4.07 - 5.51 Lakhs**Ex-showroom price
Renault Triber (HT Auto photo)
Renault Triber
999 cc | Petrol | Manual | 19 kmpl
₹5.12 - 7.98 Lakhs**Ex-showroom price
Renault Kiger (HT Auto photo)
Renault Kiger
999 cc | Petrol | Manual
₹5.45 - 10.09 Lakhs**Ex-showroom price
Renault City K-ze (HT Auto photo)
UPCOMING
Renault City K-ze
Electric | Automatic
₹6 - 10 Lakhs* *Expected Price
Renault Duster (HT Auto photo)
Renault Duster
1498 cc | Petrol | Manual | 14.19 kmpl
₹9.39 - 14.28 Lakhs**Ex-showroom price

But the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan forced the factory to shutter, just as Renault was wrestling with slowing growth worldwide and a cashflow squeeze that has prompted ratings agencies to cut its credit ratings to "junk" status.

FOLLOW US:Stay Updated with latest content - Subscribe us on
FOLLOW US:Stay Updated with latest content - Subscribe us on

"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," Renault chairman for China operations, Francois Provost, said in a statement.

(Also read: Coronavirus impact: Renault scraps dividend, chairman takes pay cut)

The automaker will transfer its stake in the DRAC venture to Dongfeng, which will stop marketing the Renault brand. No financial details of the transaction were disclosed.

To bolster its all-electric push, Renault said it will "reinforce" its eGT venture, also formed with Dongfeng as well as Renault's Japanese alliance partner Nissan, to further development of its City K-ZE model, a low-cost crossover vehicle that Renault plans to launch in Europe next year.

Renault said its other Chinese venture, Jiangxi Jiangling Group Electric Vehicle Co., aimed to have four core models for the Chinese market by 2022.

It said 860,000 electric vehicles were sold in China last year, making it the largest market in the world -- though they were still just a small fraction of the 25 million vehicles of all types bought.

Renault sold just 180,000 cars, both traditional and electric, in China in 2019, down from 217,000 the previous year, and representing less than one percent of the overall market.

It said electric vehicles are forecast to account for 25 percent of the Chinese market by the end of this decade.

Renault chairman Jean-Dominique Senard said this month that he hoped to get up to five billion euros ($5.5 billion) in loans guaranteed by the French state to help the automaker weather the coronavirus crisis, which has seen sales nearly grind to a halt in affected markets.

First Published Date: 14 Apr 2020, 02:17 PM IST
Recommended For You
View All
NEXT ARTICLE BEGINS

Please provide your details to get Personalized Offers on

Choose city
+91 | Choose city
Choose city
Choose city
By clicking VIEW OFFERS you Agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy

Dear Name

Please verify your mobile number.

+91 | Choose city