Geely and Renault to Announce Hybrid Auto JV for Asia

Geely Holding and France’s Renault are likely to soon announce a deal to jointly produce the Chinese automaker’s hybrid vehicles in South Korea and look at possibly exporting the vehicles duty-free to the United States. The news hit the Reuters newswire earlier on Tuesday and cited people familiar with the matter.

The joint venture (JV) deal, in the works since early this year, involves joint operations in China and will allow Renault to shore up its struggling business in South Korea and its presence in Asia overall.

Geely is expected to work with Renault to come up with a new lineup of green cars that use Geely’s Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), a midsize vehicle underbody structure shared by Geely and Volvo, as well as its supply chains and manufacturing facilities in China, the sources added. Renault will focus on vehicle design, sales and marketing for its newly defined brand in China.

For Geely, the deal could mean a production foothold in South Korea and access to Renault’s assembly plant in the country, where the latter has been producing cars for over two decades via a local brand with a unit from the Samsung Group.

One source explained that one of the models that Geely plans to produce at Renault’s plant in the southeastern South Korean port city of Busan is the Lynk & Co 01 sport-utility vehicle.

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It was not clear which one it plans to produce in Busan, but one of the three sources said the gasoline-fuelled and hybrid models were going to be produced in South Korea.