Automobile

Renault is considering Korean battery maker tie-ups

Renault is considering a partnership with Korean battery makers as the French automaker seeks to increase production capacity in Europe, CEO Luca de Meo said.

“We are looking to reinforce long-term relations with some players here,” de Meo said at a news conference in Seoul on Tuesday, when asked whether Renault is considering a joint venture with a South Korean battery maker such as LG Energy Solution or Samsung SDI.

“We are looking for battery capacity in Europe; this is one of reasons why I traveled to Korea,” de Meo said.

The automaker unveiled new logo for Renault Korea Motors as a sign of the company’s “new ambition” in the market and to rejuvenate the brand.

De Meo said Renault is “hoping to invest hundreds of millions in euros in the country over the next six years,” and that Korea will be a hub for exports of medium- and large-size cars.

Renault’s South Korean unit will introduce its first electric car in the country in 2026 as the French automaker shifts to EVs, Yonhap News reported earlier.

The French automaker unveiled a plan in May to sell 34 percent of its local unit to Chinese auto giant Geely Automobile Holdings and develop eco-friendly models.

Renault is preparing to release a hybrid vehicle in South Korea in 2024 that will be based on a platform prepared with Geely, de Meo said.

Regarding Geely’s role in Renault Korea, de Meo said “Geely will be one of key stakeholders and stakeholder have all interests in all projects.”

Separately, Renault is considering a broader tie-up with Geely for its combustion engine and hybrid powertrain business, which it plans to split from a separate EV-focused entity, people with knowledge of the matter have said.

Renault sold 34,437 cars in Korea so far this year as of end-August, down 10 percent from the same period a year ago, according to the Korean trade ministry.

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