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CRITIQUE – Renault’s lost bet in China

This book traces the history of the « low cost » electric car that Renault tried to introduce on the Chinese market from its genesis to the final fiasco.

By Frédéric Schaeffer

Published on August 29, 2022 at 10:54 am



« We want to offer a cheap electric vehicle in China. » On the occasion of the inauguration of Renault’s first plant in China in early 2016, in Wuhan, Carlos Ghosn, then boss of the French automaker, announced the group’s desire to launch a low-cost, zero-emission vehicle. This book traces the history, from its genesis to its marketing, of this « low-cost » electric car, which was supposed to be a tool for conquering the Chinese market but turned out to be a commercial flop before being reborn in Europe under the Dacia Spring brand.


Through the chaotic course of this singular industrial project, this well-documented book plunges us into the adventure of the manufacturer in China, with its share of twists and turns to overcome unforeseen blockages, whether with suppliers, the local industrial partner Dongfeng, or to overcome the differences in the way of working in China compared to Western engineering firms


« Getting on the growth train of China’s automotive market is easier when it starts small than when it is launched at full speed. »