French car giant Renault has confirmed it has held “friendly discussions” with China International Capital Corporation (CICC).
Confirmation of the talks with the investment bank came during a briefing to Reuters in which a spokesperson for the automobile manufacturer said the talks were around China’s market. It is understood from earlier reporting in the Chinese media outlet Cailianshe the firms were looking to work together to establish an investment fund focusing on the new energy vehicle (NEV) industry chain.
The NEV market is experiencing something of a boon in China – according to state-run newspaper China Daily, 18.21m of the country’s 430m vehicles were NEVs. “More than 5.19m NEVs had been registered in China during the first three quarters of this year, up 40% from the same period last year and accounting for 28.6% of all new automobile registrations, the data shows,” the paper wrote.
The talks follow recent reporting that Renault was recalibrating its efforts within China. As news site Caixin Global reported in July: “All four directors representing Renault Group have left the board of its China joint venture with Jiangling Motors Group Co, according to public business records, reflecting the French carmaker’s intention to divest from the company, which is struggling with a liquidity crisis and sluggish sales.”
This latest development comes a week after CICC nominated finance industry veteran Chen Liang as its new chairman, according to a filing to the Shanghai Stock Exchange. It is understood Chen resigned from China Galaxy Securities a few days prior. Both that firm and CICC are owned by Central Huijin Investment, the domestic arm of China’s sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corporation.