PARIS – Groupe Renault plans to launch seven new locally-produced models in China by 2022, including three electric vehicles, as it plans to increase sales in the world’s largest automobile market by more than 15-fold from just over 36,000 units to 550,000 units.
The move is part of Drive the Future, a new six-year midterm plan announced by the French automaker on October 6 to grow global sales by more than 40 percent to over 5 million units, compared with the 3.47 million units sold in 2016, as the company expands its product range, including in LCV and new zero-emission EVs and builds on success of its global access range.
The seven new models are on top of the locally-produced Renault Kadja and Koleos SUVs, which accounted for more than 80 percent of Renault’s sales in China last year. In addition to the Dongfeng-Renault joint venture, Renault will also leverage the recently announced electric vehicle JV between the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance and Dongfeng – eGT New Energy Automotive Co., Ltd. – which will design and produce a new EV possibly based on the Renault Kwid A-segment SUV, as well as the new Renault-Brilliance JV announced in July for the production and sales of light commercial vehicles under both Jinbei and Renault brands.
Drive the Future will build on the strong foundation of Groupe Renault’s last plan Drive the Change, which resulted in record growth and operating profit, increased synergies gained through the Alliance with Nissan (and now also Mitsubishi), empowered regions, expanded product mix and leadership in zero-emission vehicles in Europe.
“Groupe Renault is now a healthy, profitable, global company looking confidently ahead. Drive the Future is about delivering strong, sustainable growth benefiting from investments in key regions and products, leveraging Alliance resources and technologies, and increasing our cost competitiveness,” said Renault Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn. “Supported by the men and women of Renault, this new plan will unleash our full potential to innovate and grow in a rapidly-changing industry.”
The new midterm plan targets to deliver over €70 billion in group revenues, operating margin of 7 percent, €4.2 billion in Monozukuri savings, €18 billion invested in R&D, launch 8 pure electric vehicles, 12 electrified models, 100 percent connected vehicles in key markets and 15 autonomous drive models by the end of 2022.
Renault has been expanding in China rapidly since the Dongfeng-Renault JV was officially formed less than four years ago. In addition to the aforementioned new JVs, it also inaugurated a testing track near the Dongfeng-Renault tech center on September 21 as the only testing track next to a Renault production facility globally. Dongfeng-Renault had already sold more than 50,000 locally-produced SUVs through September, more than 80 percent of its 2017 sales target of 60,000 units.