MILAN, Dec. 21 (Class Editori) — Renault is reestablishing its presence in China thanks to a joint venture with Geely Auto Group. The two companies are expected to announce an agreement to jointly produce the Chinese company's EVs in South Korea while considering the possibility of exporting them to the US without duties, according to what sources familiar with the matter told Reuters today. The joint venture will allow Renault to consolidate its operations in South Korea and, more generally, to expand its presence in Asia.
Moreover, Renault, which left China last year, will have the opportunity to return to the largest global car market by creating a new brand focused on plug-in hybrid vehicles. The sources further explained that the brand will be managed by both companies and that Geely is supposed to work with Renault to produce a new range of green vehicles using Geely's so-called Compact Modular Architecture — a mid-size unibody automobile platform jointly developed by Geely and Volvo Cars — as well as the company's production chains and manufacturing plants in China.
On the other hand, Renault will focus on the new brand's vehicle design, sales and marketing for its new brand in China, while Geely could enter South Korea's industrial production and could have access to Renault's local assembly plants. As one of the sources further reported to Reuters, Geely plans to produce Lynk & Co 01 SUV and other models in Renault's plant in the South Korean city of Busan.
Lynk & Co 01 is currently available with three powertrain, namely gasoline-fueled, conventional gasoline-electric hybrid and plug-in electric hybrid. It is unclear which of these versions Geely plans to build in Busan, but one of the sources claimed that both the gasoline and the hybrid models will be produced in South Korea. Through this deal, Geely could also gain a secondary entry into the US market. In the wake of the leaks exclusively reported by Reuters, Renault shares rose 2.38% to 28.8394 euros on the Paris Stock Exchange. (All rights reserved)
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