The Renault Group will seek to strengthen its foothold in East Asia by forming a partnership with Geely to build hybrid cars for the local market.
The partnership will focus initially on launching Renault-badged hybrid models, using Geely-derived underpinnings, in the Chinese and South Korean markets.
While Geely will supply the vehicles, Renault will maintain control of “branding strategy, channel and service development” in the regions. Financial terms of the deal haven’t been disclosed.
The partnership doesn’t affect Renault’s 80.1% stake in Korean manufacturer Renault Samsung Motors, which builds a range of Renault-based models for local sale.
However, Geely and Renault said that they will “explore localisation of vehicles based on Lynk&Co’s energy-efficient vehicle platforms for local markets”.
The move comes as the latest step in Renault’s drastic Renaulution transformation strategy under new boss Luca de Meo. It will allow it to “share resources and technologies” with the Geely Group, which owns LEVC, Lotus, Lynk&Co, Polestar and Volvo, among others.
The arrangement is similar to Geely’s 50:50 joint venture with Mercedes-Benz, under which the former will build Smart-badged electric cars for global retail – the first of which will be shown in concept form at next month’s Geneva motor show.
Renault also collaborates with Mercedes on the development and production of small commercial vehicles (the new T-Class will be a twin of the Kangoo, for example) but this is completely unrelated to the new Geely-Renault partnership.
In April last year, Renault withdrew from a joint venture with Chinese manufacturer Dongfeng Motor Group, bringing to a halt the sale of non-electric Renault-badged cars in that market.
Electric models were to continue on sale as part of other joint ventures with Brilliance Jinbei Automotive, eGT and Jiangxi Jiangling.