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

  • 2016 Hyundai I30 1.4 Turbo prototype
    First Drive
    30 August 2016
    We get early access to the third-generation Hyundai i30 1.4 Turbo. Does this prototype show promise?
  • Citroën C4 Grand Picasso
    First Drive
    26 August 2016
    The Citroën Grand C4 Picasso gets tweaked styling, improved tech and new personalisation options to keep it ahead of rivals
  • Car review
    26 August 2016
    Wolfsburg celebrates the GTI’s 40th with its most extreme version yet
  • Kia Optima Sportwagon
    First Drive
    25 August 2016
    New Kia estate looks the part, has good space and handles tidily, but its engine's flexibility and refinement let it down
  •  Kia Optima PHEV
    First Drive
    25 August 2016
    Plug-in hybrid Optima is a practical, tax-efficient PHEV that undercuts rivals and fulfils its main remit well, but keen drivers need not apply