The French company Renault decided to ditch the automobile segment in the Chinese market and to sell its stake in a joint venture Dongfeng Renault Automotive Company (DRAC).
DRAC was founded in December 2013 and was supposed to be a springboard for the localization of French cars in China. In February 2016, the then head of Renault Carlos Ghosn and Zhu Yanfen, the head of Dongfeng, officially launched in Wuhan (same that gave the world coronavirus) plant for the production of crossovers of the French brand. The first stood up on the conveyor Kadjar compact, then joined a mid-size Koleos and Captur subcompact. Ambitions were large: the factory is willing to give 150 thousand cars per year with the possibility of doubling this capacity. By 2022, Carlos Ghosn planned to sell in China for 550 thousand Renault a year.
Alas, those plans went awry: China Renault are not logged in, and in better 2017 French brand sold in China only 72 221 car. In 2018, the demand fell to 50 109 PCs in 2019 – 18 281 pieces, despite the expansion of the model range and the world in budget electric cross-City K hatchback Renault-ZE.
According to Reuters, the Dongfeng leadership a year ago was expected that Renault wants to get rid of his hapless Chinese asset, but the final decision was taken only now, in the context of a pandemic COVID-19, a sharp drop in sales in all markets, including the Chinese and the difficult financial situation of the French company.
In Europe, Renault is trying to borrow 5 billion euros to stay afloat and not to be nationalized by the French government (he now owns a 15% stake in the company). As anti-crisis measures Renault has refused payment of dividends to shareholders and 25% cut of salaries of employees. Against this background, the surrender of the Chinese market – a small loss: Renault to sell its 50 percent stake in DRAC Chinese partner (the transaction amount was not disclosed), the plant in Wuhan will cease to produce French cars. Who will take their place, will determine Dongfeng.
However, formally the Renault on the Chinese market remains. The issue of electric City K-ZE will continue (though not the fact that it is under the brand Renault), and next year will appear on the European version under the brand Dacia. In the ranks also remains cooperation with Jiangxi Jiangling Motors company JMEV, which produces a range of affordable electric cars (under its own brand), and intends by 2022 to occupy 45% of the Chinese market is “trains”.
Will continue to work and joint venture Renault Brilliance Jinbei Automotive Co. (RBJAC), a manufacturer of commercial minibuses and vans (again not under the brand Renault, and under my own) – it manual Renault considers very promising in light of the expected growth in the logistics sector in China (read – delivery of goods to the population). Renault will help the Chinese partners to modernize production and add to its product line of modern LCVs, and now it is dominated by a clone of the old Toyota wagon.
In General, out of sight of the broad Chinese consumer brand Renault will soon disappear.