Renault-Brilliance count on e-vans to buck China slump

October 16, 2018 20:03 CET

PARIS — Renault and Chinese partner Brilliance plan to launch three electric delivery vans in two years, seeking to capitalize on robust growth in China’s commercial vehicle market and city center driving curbs on vehicles with combustion engines.

The battery-powered vans will be part of a seven-model product offensive announced on Tuesday for the Renault-Brilliance joint venture that was created last December.

The first two electric vans are to be introduced as commercial and passenger versions under Brilliance’s Jinbei brand. The first will be a full-electric update of Jinbei’s F50 model. A battery-powered Renault vehicle will follow in 2020.

“Now with the expertise of Renault in electrified technology we will get it into the zero-emissions (zones) for last-mile deliveries,” Ashwani Gupta, commercial vehicles chief for the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, told reporters on a call.

The overall Chinese auto market shrank for the third consecutive month in September, recording its biggest year-on-year decline in seven years.

But Renault’s Gupta expects commercial vehicle sales growth to stay resilient, with an 11 percent expansion to 3.2 million vehicles this year and a further 8 percent to 9 percent in 2019.

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