New boss, new course: About six months after its launch, Renault CEO Luca de Meo wants to present his strategy for the crisis carmaker on Thursday.
The top manager, who comes from Italy, has already made it clear that he is less focused on quantity, but instead on return. The hunt for sales records, which former CEO Carlos Gon set with an iron fist, will finally go down in history.
At Renault in Boulogne-Billancourt near Paris, De Meo’s plan has a difficult-to-pronounce name. The manufacturer has been experiencing a deep crisis for a long time. Last year, it announced cuts to 15,000 jobs worldwide and savings of about 2 billion euros. De Meo now has to show his colors, is that enough, or is he riding on it.
Like other carmakers, Renault was hit hard by the crown pandemic and its economic consequences last year. The group’s sales fell by a good 21 percent to nearly three million vehicles during the year as a whole. In the first half of 2020, the manufacturer posted a record loss of about 7.3 billion euros from its Japanese partner Nissan (Nissan Motor), also due to the deep red.
De Meo, 53, wants to think about the old strengths of the French manufacturer. The return of the R5, a successful small car of the 1970s, is just as reliable, according to the French daily Le Figaro. Renault did not comment on this at first. The R5 came off the production line in 1972. As Fiat’s manager at the time, De Meo played an important role in the introduction of the retro Fiat 500 model.
Last year, Renault’s management signaled not to shake the Franco-Japanese automotive alliance, forged by Gon. Renault owns 43.4% of Nissan. Mitsubishi is also part of the alliance.
Renault and Autoallianz have already fallen into crisis after the scandal surrounding the colorful boss of Gon’s car. The ex-manager was arrested and charged in Tokyo in November 2018, among other things, for violating stock market requirements. In April 2019, the native Brazilian was released from custody under harsh conditions on bail. Gons fled to Beirut on a private plane, allegedly hidden in a box, under dubious circumstances in late December 2019. French lawsuits are investigating the alleged misappropriation of Renault funds by Ghosn.
Renault wants to save more and be profitable again
The crisis carmaker wants to save even more than previously announced and quickly become profitable again. The austerity program now lasts until 2025 and costs three billion euros, Renault announced on Thursday in Boulogne-Billancourt near Paris. So far it is about two billion euros in savings by 2022.
The new goal is part of the comprehensive strategic plan of the new Renault CEO Luca de Meo. He is less interested in quantity and wants to make a profit. The company should become profitable again as soon as possible, the company said. In the first half of 2020, the manufacturer suffered a record loss of about 7.3 billion euros from Japanese partner Nissan Motor due to deep red numbers. Business indicators for the whole year should be presented in mid-February.
Renault wants to significantly reduce its industrial capacity. Last year, the manufacturer announced that it would cut about 15,000 jobs worldwide. The De Meos plan does not provide for additional job cuts, according to company circles.
Like other carmakers, Renault was hit hard by the crown pandemic and its economic consequences last year. The group’s sales fell by a good 21 percent to just under three million cars.
As for Renault’s share in Paris, it is at times 0.50 percent to 35.99 euros.