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China approves $1.3B Renault auto joint venture

Thursday - 12/5/2013, 1:00am  ET

BEIJING (AP) -- China has given Renault and a local partner approval to launch a $1.3 billion auto manufacturing joint venture in the world's biggest vehicle market.

Dongfeng Motor Group Ltd. said Thursday that the Cabinet's planning agency approved the venture. It said it is intended to produce 150,000 multipurpose vehicles and engines per year.

Renault, maker of the Clio and Megane hatchbacks, is one of the last major auto brands without factories in China.

Global manufacturers are looking to relatively robust China to drive sales at a time when Western markets are lagging.

Total auto sales in China rose 7.1 percent last year to 15.5 million vehicles.

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