Renault to stop selling petrol and diesel cars in China – focus now on electric, commercial vehicles

The global recession, hastened by the devastating coronavirus pandemic, is causing companies to drastically reorganise their businesses. While Nissan is reportedly planning to become a smaller, leaner operation, its alliance partner Renault is already rescaling its dealings in China, announcing that it is ending its joint venture with Dongfeng.

The company said that it will sell its shares in Dongfeng Renault Automotive Company (DRAC) back to the Chinese carmaker, with DRAC to cease any activities related to the Renault brand. It’s implied here that Renault will stop selling cars with internal combustion engines in China, although the company said it will reveal further details on its passenger car strategy later as part of its mid-term plan.

Renault will instead focus on electric vehicles with two of its existing joint ventures – eGT New Energy Automotive Company and Jiangxi Jiangling Group Electric Vehicle Company (JMEV). The former, another collaboration with Dongfeng together with Nissan, builds the K-ZE and will develop a European version based on the Dacia Spring concept. Meanwhile, Renault said that JMEV, set up in 2015, will yield four core models to cover around 45% of the Chinese EV market by 2022.

Another core market will be commercial vehicles, and to that end, Renault will be continuing with the Renault Brilliance Jinbei Automotive Company (RBJAC) joint venture, which was launched in December 2017. It will modernise Jinbei models and expand the lineup to five core models by 2023, with exports also promised.

Renault said it will continue to provide aftersales service for its 300,000 customers through its dealers and through synergies with the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. It will also continue to cooperate with Nissan on new-generation engines with the supply of components to DRAC and licensing of diesel engines to the Dongfeng Automobile Company. Renault and Dongfeng will also forge a partnership in the field of “intelligent connected vehicles”, it said.

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