[ET NEWS] Renault Group is expected to soon decide the Korean manufacturer of its micro electric car Twizy with aims to start production as early as next year, industry sources said on July 24.
Sources said a group of Renault officials, led by Eric Feuteun, head of electric vehicle and battery business division, recently visited Korea to carry out due diligence of potential manufacturers.
The French auto giant was considered importing the Twizy to Korea but decided to produce the car here due to logistics and pricing benefits. The local production is also expected to boost its exports to markets in the region, especially Southeast Asia, in the longer term.
Currently, Renault Samsung Motors, the Korean unit, produces its cars, including refurbished versions of Renault vehicles, at its Busan plant.
“Preorders for the Twizy have exceeded 1,200 units in less than two months,” a Renault Samsung official told ET News. “The French headquarters also understands the necessity of local production for pricing competitiveness, but a final decision is yet to be made.”
Since its debut in 2012, the Twizy has sold more than 20,000 units in Europe as it is widely used for car-sharing and by governments. The retail price in Korea is about 15 million won (US$1,347) which could be reduced considering government subsidies of 5-8 million won.
Along with Renault, some Chinese EV makers are also reportedly seeking to build cars in Korea, home for top battery makers such as Samsung SDI and LG Chem. Beijing Motors, for instance, is said to be working to build electric trucks and buses in Korea.
By Park Tae-joon (email@example.com) (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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