Renault is reportedly planning to re-enter the Chinese market by resuming production of microbuses in 2010. Renault’s emerging market strategy has appeared to avoid China and CEO Carlos Ghosn recently said that it was not a market to enter half-heartedly.
Automotive News China said Renault will invest CNY1.5bn in a minibus project, code-named W72, initially aiming to build 40,000 vehicles a year at an existing factory in Xiaogan, in the eastern province of Hubei.
Carlos Ghosn told reporters at the Beijing Auto Show last month that Renault was still assessing the right timing to re-enter the increasingly competitive passenger car market.
Nissan has a local 50-50 joint venture with Dongfeng Motor Corp and Ghosn said Renault would eventually join that partnership.
Renault also plans to sell the new minibus in other emerging markets including Brazil, India and Russia, the report said.
Renault had a joint venture producing the Trafic commercial minibus in 1994 with Sanjiang Space Industry Group but dwindling sales led to a production halt in 2002, Automotive News China said.