• January 26, 2023

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Geely Automobile Holdings, a China automaker controlled by billionaire Li Shufu, has agreed to buy 34% of Renault Korea Motors for 1.37 billion yuan, or about $210 million, Geely Auto said in a stock exchange filing today.

Geely Auto’s main shareholder is Geely Holding, whose other brands include Volvo Cars, Lynk & Co, ZEEKR, Geometry, Polestar, Lotus, London Electric Vehicle Company, Farizon Auto, and Cao Cao Mobility. Chairman Li Shufu, also known as Eric Li, is worth $23.9 billion on the Forbes Real-Time Billionaires List today.

Geely Auto and Renault Korea Motors will manufacture hybrid electric vehicles and traditional internal combustion engine models for the South Korean market as well as explore overseas sales, the two said in a press release. The vehicles will be produced at the current Renault Korea Motors facility in Busan, South Korea, with volume production forecast to begin in 2024.

Renault Group will remain the majority shareholder in Renault Korea Motors and will continue to fully consolidate the entity. The vehicles will be sold through the existing Renault Korea Motors sales and aftersales network, the press release said.

Regulatory approvals are still needed. Geely Holding Group and Renault Group first announced collaboration plans in January. Geely Auto’s Hong Kong-traded shares can use a boost: they’ve lost nearly 40% of their value in the past year.

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Geely Holding sold over 2.2 million vehicles in 2021, with Volvo Cars sales reaching 698,693 units globally and Geely Auto selling 1,328,029 units. Renault Group sold 2.7 million vehicles in 2021.

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@rflannerychina

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