Carlos Ghosn, chief executive of the Renault, believes the French company's new joint venture with Dongfeng will boost its Chinese sales
8 February 2016

Renault boss Carlos Ghosn is targeting annual sales of about 735,000 cars in China when the company’s new road car operation there gets up to full speed.

The company has forged a joint venture with Chinese automotive superpower Dongfeng and last week the first fruits of the relationship, a new 150,000-capacity production plant, was officially opened in Wuhan in central China.

The factory will build two Renault-badged crossovers for the Chinese market to take advantage of an explosion in popularity of high-riding vehicles. The market for crossovers and SUVs in China grew by 53% last year compared with 2014.

Renault is one of the last of the major European makes to forge a joint venture to enable it to build and sell cars in China. Previously, Renault sold fewer than 25,000 cars per year in China and as an import-only operation, the prices of its products were heavily taxed.

Although Ghosn wouldn’t put a timeframe on how rapidly Renault could grow in China, he eventually expected the company to attain about “3 and 3.5%” of the nation’s new car market, which currently comprises around 21m per year but is expected to reach 25m by 2020.

The new Wuhan plant has the potential for expansion to produce up to 300,000 vehicles. When production of the two crossovers is underway, the factory will build an electric saloon based on the Fluence on behalf of Dongfeng.

Our Verdict

The Renault Kadjar in Dynamique S Nav trim

Qashqai-based crossover aims to do the same job for less money

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka
  •  Maserati Ghibli Diesel
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    Maserati releases another range of updates for its range best seller, the Ghibli. We've driven the diesel version, but there's little improvement on before
  • Tipo Front
    First Drive
    21 September 2016
    New Fiat Tipo offers impressive space and practicality for a reasonable price. We try the 1.6 diesel on the demanding roads of North Wales
  • Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150
    First Drive
    20 September 2016
    The Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150 makes perfect sense: it's spacious, tidy to drive for an SUV and cheap to run