Re­nault opens first China plant

The Pak Banker - - BUSINESS -

BEI­JING: French au­tomaker Re­nault opened its first fac­tory in China on Mon­day, in a joint ven­ture with Dongfeng Mo­tor Corp that has an ini­tial pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity of 150,000 cars per year. The 7.76-bil­lion-yuan ($1.18 bil­lion) fac­tory in Wuhan, cap­i­tal of Cen­tral China's Hubei prov­ince, was ap­proved by Na­tional De­vel­op­ment and Re­form Com­mis­sion in De­cem­ber 2013.

The fac­tory will mainly pro­duce sports util­ity ve­hi­cles and its first prod­uct se­ries, Kad­jar, is ex­pected to go on the mar­ket in March. Re­nault's CEO Car­los Ghosn de­scribed the fac­tory as a "big step" in de­vel­op­ing the Re­nault brand in China and glob­ally. Ghosn said he was al­ways op­ti­mistic about China's auto mar­ket, which, de­spite fluc­tu­a­tions, is still grow­ing at 5 per­cent an­nu­ally, mean­ing an in­crease of 1 mil­lion cars a year. Dongfeng-Re­nault, though a late­comer, is ex­pected to con­trib­ute greatly to China's auto mar­ket growth, he said. The new joint ven­ture will also boost the de­vel­op­ment of Dongfeng Mo­tor Corp. and ex­pand its prod­uct cat­e­gories, said Dongfeng's board chair­man Zhu Yan­feng. Dongfeng al­ready has joint ven­tures with PSA Peu­geot Citroen, Honda, Nis­san, Kia and Volvo. Wuhan, dubbed as China's auto hub, has the largest num­ber of car man­u­fac­tur­ers among all Chi­nese cities.

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