In China, Renault Withdraws ICE Passenger Cars, Focuses On EVs, LCVs

Renault will sell only light commercial vehicles and electric vehicles. No more conventional passenger cars.

The Renault Group announced today a major decision about withdrawing the Chinese passenger ICE car market. The company intends to focus on light commercial vehicles (LCV) and electric vehicles (EV).

It seems that the French company was significantly disappointed by its low car sales (in 2019 only 18,607 compared to production capacity of 110,000) and was not able to withstand high operating losses of more than 1.5 billion yuan ($212 million), according to Reuters.

The original plan under Carlos Ghosn was different – to expand and follow Nissan in China. Now, the plan is to focus on healthy, profitable or prospective segments and cash preservation.

Let’s check the details of the decision.

Renault will transfer its shares in Dongfeng Renault Automotive Company Ltd (DRAC) – passenger car joint venture – to Dongfeng Motor Corporation, and DRAC will no longer use the Renault brand.

The light commercial vehicle business is operated through the Renault Brilliance Jinbei Automotive Co., Ltd. (RBJAC) joint venture and it will stay untouched. LCV sales in 2019 amounted to close to 162,000.

The EV business will continue through the two existing joint ventures:

One of the most important parts of the press release is that the Renault City K-ZE, the first Renault BEV in China, will become a global car in partnership with Nissan and Dongfeng within eGT joint venture.

The K-ZE will be offered in Europe under Dacia from 2021. Who knows, maybe Nissan will try to sell it in the U.S.?

“Groupe Renault expect to reinforce its partnership with Nissan and Dongfeng within eGT to make K-ZE a worldwide car. A derivative for Europe based on “Dacia Spring” concept will be sold from 2021.”

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