Renault and China's Geely will form a hybrid-focused joint venture in Asia

They'll focus on China and South Korea at the outset.

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At Brussels Cars Show 2020 the brand Renault exhibits its model Renault Captur E-TECH Hybrid on January 09, 2020, in Brussels, Belgium.  (Photo by Daniel Pier/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
NurPhoto via Getty Images

Renault is looking to revive flagging sales in China. It has agreed to set up a joint venture with a major auto manufacturer in the country. Renault will share tech and resources with Geely (which owns Volvo and Polestar) to bring Renault-branded hybrid vehicles to China.

The companies plan to take advantage of Geely's supply chain and manufacturing capabilities. Renault will focus on sales and marketing.

Along with China, the companies are eyeing South Korea as a key market for their joint venture. They plan to sell localized versions of hybrids from Geely's Lynk & Co brand.

The joint venture will likely expand to other Asian markets in the future, according to Reuters, which reported that Renault and Geely are considering making fully electric vehicles as well. Renault recently announced an ambitious timeline for electrifying its vehicles. It forecasts that 65 percent of its lineup will be electric by 2025.

Having a partnership in China seems important for Renault, which has struggled to sell cars under its own name in the country. It sold just 2,324 Renault-branded cars there in 2020, a drop of 89 percent from the previous year, amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the global semiconductor shortage. In comparison, Jinbei and Huasong, brands owned by a joint venture between Renault and Brilliance Auto, sold 154,049 vehicles in China last year.

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