Development work on Renault’s new large crossover to rival the Nissan X-Trail is gathering pace in China, with local-market production slated to begin in September at the recently opened Wuhan plant created with joint-venture partner Dongfeng.
The Wuhan plant - officially opened on 1 February – is in the process of ramping up production of the Renault Kadjar, and the same facility will handle the build of the larger model too. At Wuhan, the D-segment SUV is codenamed HZJ, following the project naming strategy of the Kadjar which was known as HZH during its development phase.
A Dongfeng Renault representative from the new Wuhan plant suggested that production of the D-segment SUV could start as soon as September, which is in line with comments made by Renault design boss Laurens van den Acker, who last year stated that: "The D crossover is developed and will be produced in China in 2016, and there is a chance it will come to Europe as well.”
The new crossover is almost certain to come to Europe, but versions destined to come here are likely instead to come from another production facility in the Renault group, most likely at the Busan plant in South Korea, with the new Chinese plant building vehicles solely for its home market.