Renault is negotiating with China's Dongfeng Motor to produce its vehicles in Dongfeng's assembly plant in the central China city of Wuhan, China's official Xinhua news agency reported.
The French automaker also plans to sell its vehicles through Dongfeng's Aeolus-brand dealerships, the wire service added, citing Dongfeng sources.
The plan will allow Renault to begin local production without building its own assembly plant. It also would allow Dongfeng to make better use of its assembly plant, according to Xinhua.
Dongfeng's plant can produce 120,000 vehicles a year. But sales of Dongfeng's Aeolus brand fell 6 percent to 26,028 units last year, according to market researcher LMC Automotive.
With no assembly plant in China, Renault imported 19,262 vehicles into the country last year, up 35 percent.
Dongfeng, a state-owned automaker headquartered in Wuhan, has a joint venture with Nissan, Renault's alliance partner.
Renault has taken some initial steps to expand in China. Last year, the company grew its network of dealerships in China to 80, up from 50.
Automotive News Europe contributed to this report