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Geely and Renault Hook Up For China Hybrid Vehicle Venture

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, the Chinese electric car maker, has arranged an investment of $108 million in an Israeli imaging company.
Geely's PE fund arranged the $108 million round led by Koch Disruptive Technologies and joined by Atreides Management, Battery Ventures, Bessemer Ventures, More VC, Regal Four, and Claltech.  Photo: Reuters.

• Follows scrapping of joint project between French automaker and Dongfeng in 2020

• Geely already involved in tie-up with Daimler to sell Smart-brand EVs


China’s biggest-selling automaker Geely has signed up to a hybrid vehicle joint venture with Renault as the French firm looks to reboot its fortunes in the world’s largest car market.

Renault SA announced the deal on Monday – a year after it ended a previous tie-up with Dongfeng.

The two companies have signed a framework agreement to make and sell Renault-branded petrol-electric hybrid cars in China using Geely’s technologies, supply chains and manufacturing facilities, while Renault will focus on sales and marketing.


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As part of the partnership, the two automakers also agreed to explore a joint localisation of Geely’s Lynk & Co-brand hybrid vehicles in South Korea where Renault has been manufacturing and selling cars for more than two decades.

The venture would focus on China and South Korea initially but would likely to be expanded to cover fast-growing Asian markets.

Geely and Renault are also looking at developing full electric battery cars for the venture, one source familiar with the matter said.

The new venture is modelled on an EV-focused venture Geely set up in 2019 with Daimler, which plans to manufacture in China and sell Smartbrand EVs based on Geely technology using Daimler’s global sales network.



The Geely-Renault venture, however, would be completely separate from Geely’s venture with Daimler.

For Geely, China’s biggest local automaker by sales, the new joint venture would strengthen its strategy to use partnerships with other automakers to share technologies, supply chains and manufacturing, which reduces EV development and other future mobility technology costs.

For Renault, the partnership would help the French automaker rebuild its presence in China after it ended a joint venture with Dongfeng Motor Group in 2020.

Renault and Geely would make the cars “in Geely’s existing factories” with an aim to eventually export the vehicles, one document read. However, one source said they were unlikely to immediately disclose the plants where production would take place.



The proposed Renault-Geely joint venture could be controlled by Geely, one of the sources said, in contrast to Geely’s Smart joint venture with Daimler, in which both companies have equal share.

Renault and its global alliance partner Nissan Motor Co had the same Chinese partner Dongfeng, before the Renault-Dongfeng joint venture was dissolved.

Renault and Nissan have long designed, produced and marketed cars jointly that share platforms and other vehicle components to reduce manufacturing and other costs. 

Automakers are keen to use petrol-electric hybrid vehicles, which have better fuel efficiency than all-petrol counterparts, to meet increasingly tougher auto regulations around the world. These hybrid vehicles, which drivers cannot charge with electricity directly, are different from plug-in hybrid cars.


  • Reuters and Sean O’Meara


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Sean O'Meara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.


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