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Renault leaves Chinese ICE passenger car market

World domination: Renault is planning to take its all-electric K-ZE compact SUV global as it develops its Chinese EV operations.

Renault pulls out of Chinese passenger car market but will remain with EVs and LCVs

15 Apr 2020

RENAULT has announced that it will be pulling out of the Chinese internal-combustion engine (ICE) passenger car market, instead opting to focus on its electric and light commercial vehicle operations.


The announcement came yesterday and forms the basis of the French brand’s new strategy for the Chinese market, with Renault set to give up its 50 per cent share in Dongfeng Renault Automotive Company (DRAC) to venture partner Dongfeng Motor Corporation.


Once the shares have been transferred, DRAC will reportedly cease all Renault brand-related activities although the brands will reportedly still work with Nissan on new-generation engines and components.


Renault says it will continue to provide aftersales service for its more than 300,000 customers through its dealer network as well as other Alliance synergies.


Renault China chairman Francois Provost said the move was the start of a new chapter for the brand in the region.


“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,” he said.


With more than 3.3 million LCV sales in China last year alone, it is little wonder Renault is shifting its focus onto the still-growing market and will expand its own (Renault Brilliance Jinbei Automotive) line-up of “core” models to give by 2023.


The Chinese LCV operations primarily revolve around the modernisation of existing Jinbei models using its advanced manufacturing and technological expertise, which will combine to increase production in coming years.


Over the next 10 years, the market share of electric vehicles in China is slated to reach 25 per cent with 860,000 EVs sold last year alone.


To capitalise on the growth of what has become the world’s biggest EV market, Renault says it will be “developing” its existing joint ventures with eGT New Energy Automotive and the Jiangxi Jiangling Group Electric Vehicle Company (JMEV).


With the help of Alliance partner Nissan, Renault executives have revealed plans to make the China-only Renault City K-ZE all-electric compact SUV “a worldwide car” and develop a derivative based on its Dacia Spring concept, due to hit showrooms sometime next year.


As for the JMEV venture, Renault says it will continue to provide “support in terms of quality and technologies” with JMEV tipped account for 45 per cent of all EV sales in China in 2022.


“This new China strategy will enhance Renault competitive advantages to sustain long-term presence in the Chinese market and maximise synergies with Nissan under the new Alliance concept of ‘leader-follower’,” a Renault spokesperson said.

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