BEIJING -- Renault SA expects to submit a final proposal for its Chinese joint venture by the end of this year, and hopes it will be approved quickly, according to Chairman Louis Schweitzer.
Schweitzer declined to speculate when Renault may start production with Chinese partner Dongfeng Automobile Co. Ltd., but the French firm has said it hopes to make 150,000 cars a year, starting in 2007, with output doubling after a few years.
"We expect to have a formal proposal by the end of the year," Schweitzer told reporters Sunday, Oct. 10, during a visit to Beijing as part of a delegation accompanying French President Jacques Chirac. "We hope approval will come rapidly."
China's red-hot car industry has been one target of a clampdown on credit and investment by authorities who fear overheated sectors could unbalance the world's seventh-biggest economy.
Schweitzer said he did not think the authorities would delay Renault's investment.
"But the situation in China, the market being what it is, we want to be careful not to overinvest," Schweitzer said.
Although China's booming car market has attracted nearly every major global car company, analysts have said recent investments worth billions of dollars are setting up the industry for massive overcapacity.
Renault also has a controlling stake in Japan's Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., which already has an existing joint venture with Dongfeng to make a range of cars.
"Clearly, one of the important elements of our JV is the so-called golden triangle of Dongfeng, Nissan and Renault," Schweitzer said.