Renault to Enter Affordable EV Market with Twingo in China

Renault to Enter Affordable EV Market with Twingo in China

May 31, 2024
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Renault SA is set to develop much of its sub-€20,000 ($21,700) Twingo in China, marking a strategic move to accelerate the availability of affordable electric vehicles. According to sources familiar with the plan, the French automaker will collaborate with a Chinese company to create the battery-powered city car, scheduled for sale in 2026. This collaboration aims to enhance development lead times and cost efficiency.

Partnership Details

The partnership involves a Chinese firm to streamline development, while “styling and advanced engineering” will be handled in France, as per a Renault spokesperson. This approach seeks to balance cost savings with maintaining the brand’s design integrity.

Project Leadership and Assembly Plans

Renault Chief Executive Officer Luca de Meo unveiled plans for the electric Twingo late last year. During a recent shareholder meeting, de Meo indicated that the vehicle would likely be assembled in Europe, potentially in Slovenia. The Twingo project will be managed by Ampere, Renault’s dedicated EV unit, which has reported rapid progress in the vehicle’s development.

Learning from Chinese Expertise

Renault’s decision to partner with a Chinese company is also driven by a desire to learn from China’s rapid advancements in EV technology. This collaboration is distinct from Volkswagen AG’s decision to develop a low-cost EV independently, bypassing potential partnerships with Renault’s software and EV unit, Ampere. This strategic move underscores Renault’s commitment to enhancing its development processes.

Market Pressures and Competition

European automakers, including Renault, face significant pressure to update their vehicle lineups amid slow economic growth and reduced subsidies affecting EV demand. Concurrently, Chinese brands are making inroads into the region with more affordable models.

For instance, BYD Co. plans to launch its Seagull hatchback next year at a price below €20,000, intensifying competition in the market.

Industry Moves and Strategic Partnerships

Other European automakers are also seeking partnerships to stay competitive. Stellantis NV plans to offer EVs co-developed with China’s Leapmotor in nine European countries starting in September. Additionally, Stellantis will introduce a more affordable version of its Citroën ë-C3 early next year, reflecting a broader industry trend towards cost-effective EV solutions.

Cost-Efficiency Strategies

Western European manufacturers, including Renault, are increasingly turning to engineers in lower-cost countries to reduce expenses. Although engineering in China may not be inherently cheaper, it remains a hub for EV technology breakthroughs. This strategic reliance on Chinese engineering expertise reflects a broader industry shift towards optimizing development costs while leveraging technological advancements.

Final Thoughts

Renault’s strategic partnership and development plans for Twingo highlight the evolving dynamics of the global EV market. By combining international collaboration with localized expertise, Renault aims to accelerate the production of affordable electric vehicles, addressing both market demands and competitive pressures.

The post Renault to Enter Affordable EV Market with Twingo in China appeared first on E-Vehicleinfo.

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