Re­nault-Nis­san to set up China JV with Dongfeng for elec­tric cars

Business World - - FRONT PAGE -

Nis­san Mo­tor and its al­liance part­ner Re­nault are set­ting up a new joint ven­ture in China with Dongfeng Mo­tor Group to de­sign and build elec­tric cars, join­ing a list of global au­tomak­ers aim­ing to make such ve­hi­cles in China.

BEIJING — Nis­san Mo­tor and its al­liance part­ner Re­nault are set­ting up a new joint ven­ture (JV) in China with Dongfeng Mo­tor Group to de­sign and build elec­tric cars, join­ing a list of global au­tomak­ers aim­ing to make such ve­hi­cles in China.

The au­tomak­ers are at­tempt­ing to tap into a boom for such cleaner “new en­ergy” ve­hi­cles in the world’s big­gest auto mar­ket and gear­ing up to meet its an­tic­i­pated strin­gent plug- in car quo­tas.

Ford Mo­tor Co. an­nounced ear­lier this month it was ex­plor­ing set­ting up a joint ven­ture with car maker An­hui Zo­tye Au­to­mo­bile Co. to build elec­tric ve­hi­cles in China un­der a new brand.

Tesla, Daim­ler AG and Gen­eral Mo­tors have al­ready an­nounced plans for mak­ing elec­tric ve­hi­cles in China, which wants elec­tric and plug-in hy­brid cars to make up at least a fifth of the coun­try’s auto sales by 2025.

The new joint ven­ture, called eGT New En­ergy Au­to­mo­tive Co., will be owned 25% each by Nis­san and Re­nault with Dongfeng own­ing 50%, Nis­san and Re­nault said in a state­ment on Tues­day.

They said eGT will de­sign a new elec­tric ve­hi­cle on a sub­com­pact cross­over SUV plat­form of the Re­nault-Nis­san al­liance.

“The es­tab­lish­ment of the new joint ven­ture with Dongfeng con­firms our com­mon com­mit­ment to de­velop com­pet­i­tive elec­tric ve­hi­cles for the Chinese mar­ket,” Car­los Ghosn, chair­man and chief ex­ec­u­tive officer of the Re­nault-Nis­san al­liance, said in the state­ment.

The state­ment did not give de­tails of fi­nan­cial com­mit­ments of the joint-ven­ture part­ners or say by when the ve­hi­cles will be launched. Dongfeng al­ready part­ners Nis­san in China.

Both Nis­san and Re­nault al­ready mar­ket elec­tric cars. Nis­san’s Leaf com­pact hatch­back has be­come the world’s top- sell­ing elec­tric car since its launch in 2010, while Re­nault be­gan sell­ing its Zoe model in 2012.

The game changer for global au­tomak­ers, many of whom un­til re­cently have re­sisted an in­dus­try shift to heav­ily elec­tri­fied ve­hi­cles, is China - an auto mar­ket with strong po­ten­tial for growth where strin­gent poli­cies fa­vor­ing cleaner en­ergy cars are be­ing ag­gres­sively pur­sued.

Un­der China’s lat­est pro­pos­als, elec­tric ve­hi­cle sales quo­tas, which are ex­pected to take ef­fect as early as 2018, are due to re­quire 8% of au­tomak­ers’ sales to be bat­tery elec­tric or plug-in hy­brid ve­hi­cles by next year, ris­ing to 10% in 2019 and 12% in 2020. —

(L) VIS­I­TORS WALK past a Re­nault logo on the car maker’s booth dur­ing the sec­ond me­dia day of the 86th In­ter­na­tional Mo­tor Show in Geneva, Switzer­land, March 2, 2016. (C) Logo of the Nis­san Mo­tor Co. is dis­played at the 44th Tokyo Mo­tor Show in Tokyo, Ja­pan, Nov. 2, 2015. (R) A host­ess poses next to Dongfeng Mo­tor Corp A9 sedan at the Auto China 2016 auto show in Beijing, China, April 26, 2016.

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