Renault will make a new attempt on cracking the all-important Chinese market, following the end of its joint venture with China's Dongfeng in 2020.
This time around, Renault will work closely with Geely to develop hybrid vehicles for both the Chinese and South Korean markets, with a view to adding more markets in the future.
The two automakers on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a comprehensive deal that will see them jointly introduce Renault-branded hybrids in China, using vehicle platforms and production capacity supplied by Geely.
The deal will also see the two automakers explore “localization” of vehicles based on the hybrid platforms of Geely-owned brand Lynk & Co. in South Korea, where Geely doesn't have much of a presence. Crucially, it won't affect Renault's existing Renault Samsung vehicle manufacturing operations in South Korea.
Geely has been open to supplying platforms and production capacity to other automakers, even going so far as to establishing a joint venture with Foxconn earlier this year aimed at offering contract manufacturing and consulting services.
Renault meanwhile plans a scaled-back approach to growing its presence in the fast-growing markets of Asia. In a major strategy announcement for Renault and its alliance partners Nissan and Mitsubishi made in the months after Covid-19 surfaced, Renault's focus was shifted to Europe, Russia, South America and North Africa, while Nissan's focus was shifted to North America, Japan and China, and Mitsubishi's focus to Southeast Asia and the Pacific. It doesn't mean partners won't compete in markets where their focus doesn't lie, but it will mean a reduced presence and lineup.