As part of reported plans to separate itself into EV and internal combustion engine divisions, Renault could be selling its engine-making division to Geely and an unnamed oil company.
According to Reuters the Renault Group is planning to announce the split some time in the northern autumn.
The so-called “Horse” division will be based outside of France, and house the automaker’s petrol, hybrid and transmission production facilities across Europe (Spain, Portugal, Turkey, and Romania) and Latin America.
Reuters‘ two sources say Renault will retain a 40 per cent of this unit, while Geely will buy 40 per cent and the unnamed oil firm the remaining 20 per cent.
All up this division is expected to directly employ around 10,000 people.
While the “Ampère” EV division will have roughly the same number of employees, it will be based in France. Current plans call for the EV division to listed on the sharemarket in the second half of 2023, although Renault will retain a majority stake.
The sources say the deal sell stakes to Geely and the oil company has to be completed, and that “other tracks exist for partner manufacturers”.
Interestingly Nissan was asked to participate, but has reportedly declined to buy a stake in Renault’s engine and transmission division.
The two automakers are part of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, and Renault owns a controlling 44 per cent stake in Nissan.
After the arrest of former CEO Carlos Ghosn in late 2018, who is said to have held the Alliance together through the best part of two decades, the Alliance drifted for a few years before announcing a new plan in 2020 for platform sharing and streamlining development.
Nissan non-participation could indicate diverging priorities between the two automakers.
If this report proves to be true, it will also be the third major collaboration between Renault and Geely in the last year.
Geely, it should be noted, is not part of the Alliance, and has its own large portfolio of brands under its control, including Volvo, Polestar, Geely, Lotus, Proton, Lynk & Co, Zeekr, Geometry, and the London EV Company.
This time last year, Renault and Geely announced Geely would design and produce vehicles for Renault destined for the Chinese market.
At the start of the year, the two companies announced Renault’s South Korean operations will build vehicles based on Geely’s platforms starting from 2024. These cars will likely be shared with Geely’s Lynk & Co brand, and could be exported to the USA.
In May this year Geely bought a 34 per cent stake in Renault Korea Motors — formerly Renault Samsung — which has continued to struggle in the domestic market against the might of Hyundai, which also owns the Kia and Genesis brands.