Renault unveiled a US$50,819 (RMB381,650) sport model of its Megane Coupe-Cabriolet in Shanghai Friday and announced it would continue to base its China strategy around importing fully-built cars rather than localizing production, China Auto News reported. The French automaker also plans to start selling the latest version of its Laguna model in China next summer to compete with the Audi A4 and the BMW 3 Series. As a latecomer to the Chinese market, Renault has decided to expand its China presence through imports rather than localizing production. A preliminary agreement signed with China’s Dongfeng Motors in 2004 to build a 300,000-car-per-year plant was put off when they could not agree on the location. The automaker is aiming to double its profitability worldwide by 2009, by which point it expects to sell 3.3 million cars worldwide and improve its profitability to 6%. China, the world’s second largest auto market, was not considered a key business spot until recent years, the company said. In Asia and Africa, Renault sold 150,000 vehicles in the first nine months, including just 2,000 in mainland China.

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