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Renault Will Make Cars in South Korea With Volvo's Platform Thanks to Geely Deal

This could look like an excellent example of globalization: Renault will make cars in South Korea with a Volvo platform thanks to a deal with Geely. However, there’s so much more behind this short sentence that sticking with the summary will make you miss all the nuances this deal carries.
Renault will use Volvo's CMA platform in South Korea thanks to its deal with Geely 14 photos
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Renault and Geely announced on January 21 that the French automaker would produce vehicles based on the CMA (Compact Modular Architecture). That’s the same platform that underpins the Volvo XC40, C40, Polestar 2, some Geely models, and all current Lynk & Co vehicles. This brand is what hinted at how the deal was going to develop well in advance.

If all cars made by Lynk & Co are based on the CMA – and the partnership announced back in August 2021 already stated it would make “vehicles based on Lynk & Co’s energy-efficient vehicle platforms” – it was evident that the new RSM (Renault Samsung Motors) products would use this architecture.

We suspected they would also use the SEA (Sustainable Experience Architecture) to make pure electric cars. However, the only vehicle to present it so far is the Zeekr 01, a vehicle that was supposed to be a Lynk & Co and even shares its design with those from other models from this brand. Regardless, the CMA also allows pure electric vehicles to be made, as the XC40 Recharge, C40, and Polestar 2 already demonstrate.

With this move, the vehicles Renault eventually develops over the CMA may also be produced in China. That will help the French carmaker expand its presence in the biggest car market in the world. For Geely, RSM could manufacture Lynk & Co vehicles in South Korea that may be exported to the U.S. without taxes, thanks to a trade deal between these two countries.

However, Bloomberg reminded us that the Geely deal made Renault abandon the “leader-follower” strategy that was the base of its alliance with Nissan. The Japanese carmaker was not consulted about the agreement and was not included in it. In other words, Renault partnering with Geely shows that Nissan and Renault may increasingly follow different paths.

In China, that will be especially true in a matter of two to three years, which is the time automakers usually take to develop a new vehicle. With the CMA, Renault may even cut that time to start fighting for a better share of the Chinese market. Nissan already does well there and has the best-selling car in China: the Sylphy, which you know better as Sentra.

Editor's note: The gallery brings images of SEA and of Renault's future electric vehicles.

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