The agreement will enable Renault to benefit from a manufacturing site in Wuhan with initial capacity of 150,000 vehicles a year. The ceremony to lay the plant’s foundation stone was held on 9 January. About 50 people attended.
Production is scheduled to start in 2016 and the agreement provides initially for a new range of crossovers, followed by a series of vehicles to be launched under a local brand and tailored to the specific needs of Chinese customers. The segment is currently driving growth in the automotive market, with sales increasing by about 20% a year. Whereas it currently covers 14% of the market, it is estimated that crossovers will represent one vehicle sale in five by 2016.
What can we tell you about Dongfeng?
For a start, it’s an enormous Chinese automaker. With 1,740,000 cars and 403,000 vans and trucks produced in 2012, Dongfeng is the leading Chinese manufacturer of LCVs and the second biggest of passenger cars, behind First Automotive Works (FAW). Dongfeng, which means “east wind” in Chinese, employs 110,000 people. As well as the DRAC, this automotive giant is involved in various joint ventures, including projects with PSA Peugeot Citroën, Honda, and for the past ten years our Alliance partner Nissan.