Renault chairman and CEO, Louis Schweitzer, after meeting with Chinese authorities and Dongfeng Motor Company June 22 to 24, has announced plans for a joint venture to build cars from 2006.

The production target is 300,000 vehicles a year in two stages, and the cars will be current models.

The first vehicle to be assembled by the joint venture will most likely be the Mégane sedan (soon also to go into production in Brazil). Others should follow, including a version of the new Logan.

"This project would make it possible for Renault to penetrate the high-growth Chinese market as of end 2006, thanks to its technological strengths, ambitious plans and the cooperation of a strong Chinese partner," Renault said in a statement.

"For Renault, the project is an integral part of its international profitable growth strategy, aimed at producing 4 million vehicles a year by 2010. As for DFC, the joint venture with Renault will help strengthen its position as a major player in the Chinese automotive industry."

The project follows agreement between Renault-controlled Nissan and DFC on a joint venture, Dongfeng Motors Company Ltd. (DFL), which will produce 620,000 passenger vehicles and trucks as of 2007.

"The new joint venture between Renault and DFC will expand on the already existing cooperation between DFC and the Renault-Nissan Alliance and will enhance its competitiveness through the sharing with DFL of resources in R&D, powertrains, supplier resources, and so on," Renault said.

The project proposal will be completed according to the requirements set down by new Chinese automotive policy, and will be submitted to the Chinese central government.