French car manufacturer Renault is considering manufacturing cars in Ukraine.
Renault told the Kyiv Post on July 23 that it is currently evaluating the Ukrainian market.
“Renault confirms that it is studying various projects with potential local manufacturing partners that has to do with the localization of assembling specific models of the group’s brands in Ukraine,” the company’s Ukraine branch responded to the Kyiv Post’s inquiry after Ukraine’s government said last week Renault might build a car manufacturing plant in Ukraine. “In regards to this, there was a (Renault) meeting with Ukraine’s Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman on July 18.”
The same day, Groysman tweeted that he met with Renault managers to discuss manufacturing possibilities.
“This means (potential) additional jobs and the expansion of export opportunities,” Groysman wrote.
The interest comes at a time in Ukraine when car manufacturing has plummeted since 2008. Back then, the country produced more than 401,000 vehicles whereas in 2017 it was only at 7,296, according to Ukrautoprom, Ukraine’s association of car manufacturers.
And Ukraine is expected to buy just 100,000 new cars in 2018, or about one-sixth of what it bought in 2008.
Back in May, Renault’s country manager Francois Mariotte told the Kyiv Post that the company is not planning to open any factories in Ukraine yet, but also mentioned that it’s not out of the question in the long run.
“As far as the market will remain around 100,000, it is too small…. It’s too small and frankly speaking for the time being we don’t have any project (in Ukraine),” Mariotte said. “Nevertheless if you look at a 5-10 year plan we could imagine again that the Ukrainian market will recover and reach 250,000, 300,000, 400,000 cars or even more.”
“One day when the market will recover, we can imagine that car manufacturers could make some kind of revival plan of automotive industry in Ukraine. For this, (Ukraine needs) conditions from the government to avoid taxes, good conditions to help us invest in Ukraine, we also need stability. In one word I would say – trust.”
The car company opened a manufacturing plant in 2014 in Algeria that accounts for 60 percent of new car sales in the African nation. The same thing could happen in Ukraine, Mariotte said.