Renault Group kicked off sales of its first locally produced electric vehicle, the Renault K-ZE, at an auto show this month in the south China city of Chengdu.
The subcompact crossover targets urban commuters and is priced from 61,800 yuan ($8,729) to 71,800 yuan after government subsidies, according to Dongfeng-Renault, Renault’s passenger vehicle joint venture with Dongfeng Motor Group.
The low-cost EV has a range of 271 kilometers (168 miles) and a maximum speed of 105 km per hour (65 mph).
The K-ZE is the third product Renault has built with local partner Dongfeng, following the Koleos crossover and Kadjar SUV.
At the Chengdu show, Renault also debuted its fourth model produced with Dongfeng: the redesigned Kaptur. The compact crossover will arrive in China in the coming months.
Renault needs new products to rescue its sales in China. In August, deliveries of Dongfeng-Renault plunged 64 percent year on year to 1,050. Through August, the partnership’s sales nosedived 73 percent to 11,311, according to Dongfeng.
Dongfeng-Renault was established in 2013 in the central China city of Wuhan.
To quickly expand its presence in China’s EV market, Renault formed a joint venture in the east China city of Nanchang in July with local automaker Jiangling Motors Group by acquiring a 50 percent stake in Jiangling Motors’ EV subsidiary.
The French automaker hasn’t disclosed production plans for the new venture, which is its third vehicle production site in China.
In 2017, Renault also set up a light commercial vehicle joint venture with Brilliance Jinbei Automobile Co. in the northeast China city of Shenyang. Brilliance-Renault now assembles vans for Brilliance Jinbei’s Jinbei and Huasong brands. It is to start producing Renault-badged vehicles in 2020.