Renault eyes green car production in China

French auto giant Renault is planning to produce electric cars in China and sell more luxury vehicles in the world's biggest auto market, chief executive Carlos Ghosn said Thursday.

"The Chinese government said recently that it is not possible to increase capacities or set up in China without bringing certain innovations," noted Ghosn during a conference with analysts on the group's annual earnings.

"We know that we need to bring the electric vehicle to China," he said, adding that this could be done through the Renault brand or another marque.

Renault said earlier Thursday its 2011 net profit reached 2.09 billion euros. However, it sold just 24,000 cars in China, a tiny fraction of the 2.72 million vehicles sold across the globe in 2011.

Beside green cars, the automaker is eyeing more luxury car sales in China as it moves to renew its fleet from 2014.

"Our high end line will go to China," said Ghosn.

Chinese media has speculated that the French group could set up production in central China's Wuhan, where homegrown carmaker Dongfeng has a factory.

Dongfeng is already working with Nissan, which is controlled by Renault.

Foreign companies are required to have a local partner in order to produce in China.

"I prefer not to talk about the Chinese project until I have an agreement with the Chinese authorities," said Ghosn.

The group's commercial director Jerome Stoll, had said last month that he is hoping for a deal this year, for production to begin in China from 2014.

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