France’s Renault announced a joint venture with China’s Jiangling Motors (JMCG) today, with a focus on expanding EV development for the Chinese market.
The two automakers announced a partnership late last year — Groupe Renault will now increase its share capital by RMB 1 billion (€128 million, $144 million) to take a 50% share in JMEV, set up as a subsidiary of JMCG in 2015.
The thinking behind the new venture is laid clear by both automakers. As Renault puts it in a press release:
This cooperation is part of the overall strategy of JMCG and Groupe Renault. Through this joint venture, Groupe Renault will be able to expand its influence in China’s electric vehicle market, while JMCG will be able to integrate and leverage more resources, which will promote its rapid growth in the future.
Among other goals, the venture will “strive to build a full range of new vehicles to support the EVEASY Brand.” Renault’s China region chairman Francois Provost said of the partnership,
“China is a key market for Groupe Renault. This partnership in electric vehicle business with JMCG will support our growth plan in China and our EV capabilities. As a pioneer and leader in the European EV market for 10 years, we will capitalize on our experience in EV R&D, production, sales and services.”
Renault already has another Chinese joint venture focused on EVs — it established the eGT New Energy Automotive Co with alliance partner Nissan back in 2017, partnering with China’s Dongfeng Motor Group to do so.
Nissan and Dongfeng just introduced an electric pickup truck for the Chinese market: the Dongfeng Rich 6 EV.
China is already so far ahead of the world when it comes to EV options. So just imagine what it’s going to look like in another year or two, as companies strive to meet the country’s zero emission mandates, and these ventures bring even more electric cars into the market — electric cars that most drivers will never see.
Renault may or may not get back in touch with Fiat Chrysler — a company that could have benefited from Nissan’s EV tech more than most, outdated though it may be. But no companies can afford to miss the boat when it comes to the Chinese EV market.
If only carmakers realized that were the case in other markets, as well.
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