PARIS – The Saudi oil giant Aramco could take a stake in Renault Group’s future internal-combustion engine unit, a French newspaper reported.
Reuters reported earlier this week that Renault was exploring a partnership between Geely and an unspecified oil company to take a majority stake in the unit.
The French daily Le Monde reported Thursday that Aramco would be the oil company, citing unnamed sources. Le Monde said that the French government, which holds a 12 percent stake in Renault, has been aware of talks with Aramco.
Renault said earlier this year that it was exploring ways to split off its electric-vehicle and internal combustion activities, as either partnerships with other companies or separately listed companies, to help finance the transition to electrification.
Each unit would have about 10,000 workers, group CEO Luca de Meo has said. Details are expected to be announced at a capital markets day this autumn.
A Renault spokeswoman told Automotive News Europe that the company would not comment on the reports in Le Monde and Reuters, but that discussions with potential partners were continuing.
Other automakers – including Ford, Geely and Mahindra -- are weighing spinoffs of their EV activities, seeking to attract the kind of capital that has driven Tesla to a trillion-dollar valuation, gain agility to develop new technologies, and manage the likely end of internal-combustion sales in the next few decades.