French automaker Renault and Chinese car manufacturer Geely have announced their collaboration to establish a new global company, with its headquarters to be located in the United Kingdom. The companies intend to invest a substantial amount of up to €7 billion ($7.7 billion; £6 billion) in the development of low-emission engines, including variants such as petrol, diesel, and hybrids. The new company plans to employ around 19,000 individuals across its network of 17 engine factories and five research and development hubs. Despite the prevailing industry trend towards electric vehicles, this joint venture aims to advance internal combustion engine (ICE) technologies.
According to a joint statement released by Renault and Geely, the UK headquarters will play a pivotal role in consolidating operations, leveraging synergies, and shaping future strategies. The official launch of the new company is anticipated later this year, with engine supplies targeted at major car manufacturers like Volvo, Nissan, and Mitsubishi. Renault CEO Luca de Meo expressed his pride in partnering with Geely and their shared ambition to disrupt the industry while promoting ultra-low-emission ICE technologies. Geely Holding Group Chairman Eric Li underscored the company's vision of becoming a global leader in hybrid technologies, offering low-emission solutions to automakers worldwide.
Renault and Geely also disclosed that Saudi Arabia's energy behemoth, Aramco, is evaluating a strategic investment and potential participation in the joint venture. Aramco, as the world's largest oil and gas company, contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions, which have a direct impact on climate change. However, Aramco has previously expressed its commitment to increasing investments in technologies that reduce carbon footprints.
While the demand for electric vehicles (EVs) is growing worldwide, including in the UK, the higher cost of EVs remains a challenge when compared to equivalent petrol or diesel cars. Geely, headquartered in Hangzhou, has been actively investing in EV manufacturing in recent years. The company acquired Coventry-based London Taxi Company a decade ago in a deal worth £11.4 million ($14.8 million). Subsequently renamed the London Electric Vehicle Company in 2017, the company shifted its focus to EV technology. It successfully developed London's first electric black cab, and currently, approximately 5,000 of these vehicles are operating on the streets of the UK capital.