Renault S.A. is creating a strategic plan in order to commence production in China by 2016, the company’s new chief operating officer, Carlos Tavares, disclosed at a half-year results press conference last Thursday.
Tavares further revealed that first, they will have to establish a dealer network in the Chinese market. He also stated that the company currently sellsa low quantity of vehicle units in China, mainly the Koleos SUV built by Renault Samsung in Korea.
He added that sales figures are expected to start low anyway. In a separate interview, Tavares revealed to Bloomberg Television that the company’s strategic plan for China will have a manufacturing component.
"It's a reasonable goal," he said, referring to the launch of production by 2016. The company’s likely partner in this enterprise would be Dongfeng Motor Corp., which is also the joint venture partner of its alliance partner Nissan Motor Co.
In the Bloomberg interview, Tavares commented on the Nissan-Dongfeng joint venture as "one of the best partnerships in the industry." However, a Renault manufacturing venture would be a strategic reversal of sorts for the alliance.
Previously, Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn of Nissan and Renault had mentioned that Nissan should take the lead role in the fast-growing market in China. In fact, during the first half of 2011, Nissan was China’s second bestselling brand with sales of 386,079 vehicles, based on the data of J.D. Power & Associates.
On the contrary, Renault sold only a few thousand imports in the country. However, the French government wants Renault to seek growth opportunities in markets like Brazil and China, according to a May report of the Financial Times.