BEIJING (Reuters) – France’s Renault SA said on Wednesday it will invest $145 million (116.78 million pounds) in a unit of China’s Jiangling Motors Corporation Group (JMCG) that will allow it to expand its electric vehicle manufacturing footprint in the world’s largest auto market.
The French car maker will take a 50% stake in JMEV, an electric car maker launched by JMCG in 2015, and establish it as a joint venture between the two companies, Renault said in a statement.
“This partnership in electric vehicle business with JMCG will support our growth plan in China and our EV capabilities,” said Francois Provost，China region chairman for Renault. “We will capitalise on our experience in EV R&D, production, sales and services.”
JMEV currently makes affordable EV sedans and sport-utility vehicles and has an initial production capacity is 150,000 vehicles a year, according to its website.
Renault at present manufactures EVs in China through its joint venture with Dongfeng Motor. It also plans EV production through its venture with Brilliance Automotive.
JMCG, based in China’s southern city of Nanchang, also owns 50% of Jiangling Holdings, which is Jiangling Motors Corp Ltd’s (JMC) biggest shareholder. JMC is one of Ford’s joint ventures in China.
NEV sales rose 80% in June to 152,000 vehicles, bringing January-June sales to 617,000, up almost 50% from a year ago, even as China’s overall auto market weakened.
(Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh in Beijing; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)