Geely to include eight Chinese powertrain plants in Renault JV -sources
By Gilles Guillaume and Marie Mannes
PARIS/STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Geely will include eight powertrain plants in China and one in Sweden in its future combustion engine joint venture with Renault and Saudi Aramco, two sources close to the matter said.
Code-named "Horse" by Renault and "Rubik" by China's Geely, the JV was signed in November last year to develop more efficient gasoline engines and hybrid systems at a time when the auto industry is focused on the capital-intensive transition to battery electric vehicles.
Renault and Geely want the JV to become a leading combustion engine and hybrid engine supplier for the car industry by the end of 2023, with a workforce of 19,000 and 15 billion euros ($16.3 billion) in annual revenue.
Renault has previously said the Horse project will have 17 plants - eight from the French carmaker in Latin America, Europe and Turkey - and nine from Geely.
Two people told Reuters on Wednesday that of the nine plants coming from Geely and Aurobay - the combustion engine unit created by Volvo Cars and Geely in 2021, which is now fully owned by Geely - eight are based in China and one is in Skovde, Sweden.
The future JV will also have two Geely-Aurobay research and development (R&D) centres, one in Hangzhou Bay in China and the other in Gothenburg in Sweden. Renault will bring three R&D Centres in Latam and Europe to the JV.
"It shows the footprint is very complementary and globally balanced," one source told Reuters.
A spokesperson for Geely Europe declined to comment.
Geely will bring all of its engine and transmission plants to the JV, but not its electric powertrains.
Renault's EV technology will remain separated from Horse and become the core of its future "Ampere" unit.
Renault's strategy to get back into the electrification race includes a public listing for Ampère, which could take place later this year.
Geely and Renault have said the JV should have an annual production capacity of more than five million internal combustion, hybrid and plug-in hybrid engines and transmissions.
Saudi Aramaco will provide know-how on e-fuels and hydrogen.
($1 = 0.9212 euros)
(Reporting by Gilles Guillaume and Marie Mannes; Editing by Sharon Singleton)