- By Annabelle Liang
- business reporter
A new global company launched by French automotive giant Renault and Chinese carmaker Geely will have its headquarters in the UK.
Companies will invest up to 7 billion euros ($7.7 billion; £6 billion) to develop low-emission petrol, diesel and hybrid engines.
It will employ about 19,000 workers at 17 engine plants, as well as five research and development centers.
The deal comes even as much of the global auto industry is shifting its focus to electric vehicle development.
Renault and Geely said in a statement that the new company will use its UK headquarters to “consolidate operations, build synergies and define future plans.”
The company will launch later this year and supply engines to automakers such as Volvo, Nissan and Mitsubishi.
“We are proud to partner with an amazing company like Geely… to break the game and pave the way for ultra-low-emissions ICE. [internal combustion engine] technology,” said Renault CEO Luca de Meo.
Geely Holding Group Chairman Eric Li added that it planned to “become a global leader in hybrid technology, providing low-emission solutions to car manufacturers worldwide. .”
The companies also said Saudi energy giant Aramco could join the joint venture and that it was “evaluating a strategic investment”.
Aramco – the world’s largest oil and gas company – is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.
The Renault-Geely deal comes as demand for electric vehicles continues to grow in countries around the world, including the UK.
However, a typical new electric vehicle (EV) is still more expensive than a comparable petrol or diesel vehicle.
In recent years, Hangzhou-based Geely has also invested in electric vehicle production.
A decade ago, it bought Coventry-based black taxi maker London Taxi Company, in a deal worth £11.4 million ($14.8 million).
In 2017, the taxi manufacturer was renamed London Electric Vehicle Company, to highlight the focus shifting to EV technology.
It has developed London’s first electric black cab, with around 5,000 cars currently on the streets of the capital.