Renault will separate the EV from the combustion unit and is looking for partnerships

PARIS — Renault has received several partnership proposals for the heat engine unit it plans to create alongside another dedicated to electric vehicles and software, two sources familiar with the matter said.

Renault plans to separate its electric and conventional car businesses, creating two entities to manage the transition to fossil-free vehicles.

“The group has already received partnership requests” for its internal combustion engine unit, one of the sources said.

By calling on partners on the heat engine side, Renault aims to free up funds to invest in the electric vehicle, a technology which it pioneered with Nissan and Mitsubishi, but in which it is today eclipsed by pure players. like Tesla.

Renault intends to retain the majority of its electrical division, which will employ around 10,000 people and could go public via an IPO in the second half of 2023.

However, it will remain only a reference shareholder, and not a controlling shareholder, of the combustion engine division, which will have similar staffing, said two other sources close to the project.

One of the sources said that Renault could retain a 40% stake.

Renault declined to comment.

At a trading day this fall, the automaker will outline its plans for its France-based electric arm and overseas-based combustion unit.

This entity will include factories producing engines and gearboxes for gasoline and hybrid cars in Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Romania and Latin America.

Among potential partners for its combustion engine business, CEO Luca de Meo in April cited Nissan, other automotive groups and long-term investors.

De Meo is due to visit Japan next month to discuss possible Japanese participation in his electric and combustion engine projects.

Renault is undergoing a major restructuring aimed at cleaning up its finances and has recently signed partnerships beyond its historical alliances with Nissan, Mitsubishi and Mercedes, such as with the Chinese Geely Automobile Holdings.

This month it sold 34% of its South Korean unit to Volvo Cars owner and Mercedes shareholder Geely.

With Geely, Renault plans to develop hybrid vehicles that will be assembled at its Busan plant in South Korea.

Kevin A. Perras