PARIS -- Renault's new production strategy will make France a center for electric vehicle production as well as future top-end cars.
The automaker will focus on high added-value production in France, while investing in higher-volume output in growth markets outside of its home country.
Between 2010 and 2013, Renault will invest 5.7 billion euros ($7.77 billion) in its industrial sites, of which 40 percent will be in France. The company will also invest in production expansion in emerging markets such as Brazil, India, and Russia to offset a weak European market.
About 80 percent of all Renault-badged EVs produced worldwide will be built in France by 2015. The company's projected volume electric car, the Zoe subcompact hatchback, will be built in Flins, while the Kangoo Z.E. car-derived van will be produced in Maubeuge.
An exception to French EV production will be the two-seat Twizy scooter-style EV, which will be built in Valladolid, Spain.
Renault said the Flins plant will begin EV battery production in 2013 with a capacity of 100,000 battery units per year. EV motors will be built at Cleon in France starting in 2013.
New top-end model
The automaker's yet-to-be named top-end model for the European market at its Douai plant in France beginning in 2014. It will replace the Espace and Laguna and will share a platform with Nissan, Renault said.
Renault will build a new commercial van in Sandouville, France, where it will have the capacity to produce 100,000 van units a year by 2013. The company has not said whether this van will replace the Trafic, which is currently built in a joint venture with General Motors Co. in Vauxhall's plant in Luton, England, and in a Nissan factory in Barcelona.
The company will continue to make its Master in Batilly, France, and the Kangoo Express at Maubeuge, France.