GENERICO.ruAutoThree people figured it out: Renault, Volvo and CMA CGM launched a joint venture to produce electric vans

Three people figured it out: Renault, Volvo and CMA CGM launched a joint venture to produce electric vans

The joint venture is called Flexis SAS, and in 2026 it intends to launch a family of light commercial electric vehicles on a specially developed 800- voltaic skateboard platform.

The joint venture between Renault Group and Volvo Group was announced in October last year, the role of the French logistics company CMA CGM Group in it was not determined at that time, but now everything has become clear: Renault Group and Volvo Group each own 45% of the shares of Flexis SAS, the remaining ten interest is owned by CMA CGM. Renault Group and Volvo Group undertake to invest 300 million euros in the new joint venture until 2026, CMA CGM will invest 120 million euros in it.

Volvo Group should not be confused with Volvo Cars. Volvo Cars is a company that produces passenger cars; it is today owned by the Chinese holding Geely. The Volvo Group is an independent company with a complex ownership structure; Swedish companies led by the Industrivärden holding own 63% of the shares of the Volvo Group, but Geely also has its own share here – 6.8%. The Volvo Group includes dozens of subsidiaries of various profiles, including Volvo Trucks, Renault Trucks and Mack Trucks.

The Volvo Group has never produced light or even electric vans before (although it participated in the development of the LEVC van). In turn, the current range of electric vans from Renault consists of conversion models made on the basis of “hydrocarbon” sources. In general, Flexis SAS will provide a new product for all participants in the joint venture, on which they intend to make good money. Flexis vans will be produced at the existing Renault plant in Sandouville, France.

The name Flexis is taken from the Renault arsenal: back in 2019, the French company introduced a very compact but roomy EZ-FLEX van (overall length – 3.86 m, width – 1.65 m, height – 1.88 m). A batch of EZ-FLEX prototypes was tested in the parks of potential corporate clients; in 2021, the van project was transferred to a new subsidiary brand Mobilize, but the production version never saw the light of day.

In 2022, when the Renault Group unveiled its new master plan, the new generation of electric vans was designated FlexEVan and was said to be overseen by subsidiary Flexis. And now Flexis has become a joint venture between Renault, Volvo and CMA CGM. The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance is not mentioned in any way in connection with this joint venture, but according to the British magazine Autocar, Flexis is negotiating with Nissan about the possibility of promoting Flexis products under the Japanese brand.

Will Flexis exist as an independent trading company? brand, it is not yet clear: the vans created as part of the joint venture will enter the market under the Renault brand, but the Flexis strategy allows and even encourages customer badge engineering, that is, Flexis commercial electric vehicles can be present on the market under a variety of brands.

The range of future Flexis models is so far illustrated by a single teaser, in which we see a one-tonne van, a larger van with a high roof and a chassis cab on the base one-ton van. The 800-volt Flexis skateboard platform is very flexible, it will be possible to produce pickup trucks for emerging markets, that is, Flexis may make an analogue of the Toyota Hilux Champ, but no concrete decision has been made in this regard yet.

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