France’s Renault and China’s Brilliance agree on a light-commercial-vehicle joint venture that Renault predicts will change the map of the Chinese and global LCV market.
The JV aims to sell 150,000 LCVs a year by 2022 and accelerate the electrification of powertrains.
The LCVs, to be sold under the Jinbei, Renault and Huasong brands, will be built at a plant in Liaoning province in northeast China.
Renault-Brilliance-Jinbei Automotive, with manufacturing operations in Shenyang, the provincial capital, will produce for three key segments: MPVs, medium-duty vans and heavy-duty vans.
“Brilliance and Groupe Renault are joining hands to build a world-class model for the development of LCVs,” Groupe Renault Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn says in a statement.
“It will change the map of the Chinese and even global LCV market.”
Under the JV, Groupe Renault is taking a 49% equity interest in Shenyang Brilliance Jinbei Automotive, which is being restructured into the JV. Brilliance China will own 51%.
Thierry Aubry, whose background includes retail, manufacturing and distribution experience in China and France, has been named CEO of the JV.
Ghosn says Renault has been investing and expanding in China for four years, with its JVs focused on passenger cars, commercial vehicles and electric vehicles.
“The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance gives us access to a wide array of technologies, with more than €50 billion ($58.8 billion) in R&D investment over the next six years, part of which will enable Renault-Brilliance-Jinbei Automotive Co. to develop products tailored to the Chinese market,” Ghosn says in a statement.
“We see China not only as the biggest car market worldwide but also as a trendsetter for the auto industry."
Ghosn says Groupe Renault is part of the world’s largest automotive group with its alliance including Nissan and Mitsubishi. Brilliance’s Jinbei has been the No.1 bus brand in China for more than a decade with an expertise in entry-cost MPVs and with a leading market share in medium-duty vans at 31%.
“Both companies will build the joint venture into a world-renowned leader in three areas –commercial vehicles, new-energy commercial vehicles and customized commercial vehicles,” he says.
The JV provides a platform for the partners to bring their strengths together, with Brilliance delivering a network of 220 dealers, project engineering capability and manufacturing capacity.
As demand in China increases for Europe-style vans and LCVs that meet higher safety, emissions and energy-efficiency standards, Renault brings expertise in new technologies, core engineering capability and business-management expertise.
The JV’s first focus will be to invigorate the Jinbei brand and then manufacture Renault LCVs in China by 2020. The Jinbei brand is well recognized on the Chinese market with sales of 268,485 units reported in 2016.