Renault says it is “very optimistic” in discussions with Chinese manufacturer, Dongfeng Motor Group concerning a potential joint venture, but is declining to reveal further details.

The French automaker has been in talks with Dongfeng following a memorandum of understanding [MOU] inked in March and although details are sketchy, including whether any joint venture could set up a $1bn factory in China, it appears the deal is being discussed at the very highest level.

“Things are going along just as planned and [CEO] Carlos Ghosn is very optimistic,” a Renault spokeswoman told just-auto from Paris. “We can’t comment on any of the figures – it is just speculation from anonymous sources.

“Negotiations are on-going – we can’t communicate on any of the articles in the press because we are bound to confidentiality. We signed an MoU at Dongfeng last March ahead of the Beijing Auto Show and we said we planned to arrive at a final agreement at the end of the year, but it could be sooner or later than that.”

Dongfeng Motor is China’s second largest automaker in terms of sales and has a joint venture with Nissan.

Renault sales in China last year were 24,000 units.