The move is part of a global realignment underway by Renault and its alliance partners Nissan and Mitsubishi.
The automakers will unveil new mid-term business plan next month. Part of the strategy is to divide the world into regions that will be spearheaded by one of the partners.
In announcing the new “leader-follower” alliance strategy in January, the three automakers said that Nissan would take the lead in the China and that Renault would take the lead in Europe and Mitsubishi would head up southeast Asia.
Renault’s downsizing in China previews other moves that might follow at Nissan and Mitsubishi, as they reposition their footprints in other markets.
“This new China strategy will enhance Renault competitive advantages to sustain long-term presence in the Chinese market and maximize synergies with Nissan under the new Alliance concept of ‘leader-follower,'” Renault said in its release.
Under the new approach, the alliance companies will also divide engineering work, with one company leading r&d and product development in a given area and the other companies sending people to assist. Renault was to be handed the lead in developing light commercial vehicles.
Light commercial vehicle sales in China reached 3.3 million in 2019 and are projected to maintain steady growth, Renault said. Its local joint venture is expanding its LCV lineup in the country to five core models by 2023, the company said.
In electric vehicles, Renault projected that EVs would account for 25 percent of the local market by 2030. Through eGT, a partnership that also includes Nissan and Dongfeng, Renault expects to launch a local derivative of the Dacia Spring concept model in China in 2021. And through its Jiangxi Jiangling tie-up, Renault plans to have four EV models for China by 2022.