Renault, Dacia, Automotive trends, Auto industry trends, Automotive market research, Automotive market analysis, auto industry news

Renault is a French OEM that sells cars and commercial vehicles under the following brands: Renault and Dacia. It also has substantive ownership stakes in Nissan (which has control of Mitsubishi) and Avtovaz (owner of the Lada brand). This page contains research on Renault's activities and strategy.

Automotive trends, Auto industry trends, Automotive market research, Automotive market analysis, auto industry news

2018

July

  • Said it was “likely” to leave Iran due to US sanctions, reversing earlier confidence in finding a way to continue operations in the country. (Radio Farda)
  • Said that it expects to be able to price for around 2/3 of the currency devaluation it has experienced in emerging markets but, due to the scale of the drop and the market’s inability to absorb rapid price increases, it has so far only recovered around 50% of the effect. (Yahoo Finance)
  • Increasing production of Zoe to 440 units per day. (Automotive News)
  • Will increase production of Alpine models from 15 per day to 20 per day. (Auto Evolution)

Q2 2018 Financial Results

  • Reported financial results for first half 2018. Revenue of €29.957 billion was up 1.4% on a year-over-year basis but EBIT was down (3)%. Net income of €2.040 billion was strongly down, reflecting lower profits at Nissan. (Renault)
  • Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi collectively sold 5,538,530 vehicles in the first half of 2018, an increase of 5.1% on a year-over-year basis. (RNA Alliance)
  • Renault sold 2,067,695 vehicles in the first six months of 2018, an increase of 9.8% on a year-over-year basis. Although the news was mostly good, sales declined markedly at Renault Samsung. (Renault)

June

  • Karhoo said that it now has a fleet equivalent to 51,000 vehicles in the UK. (Fleet Europe)
  • Starting a new car sharing scheme in Paris, potentially in competition with Bolloré (and now PSA). (Renault)
  • Previewed a Russia market unique medium sized crossover that will likely relate to Kadjar in the same way as Kaptur does to Captur. (Autocar)
  • CEO Ghosn said that although discussions about a deeper relationship between Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi, a full takeover by Renault was not one of the options. (Reuters)
  • Acquired a 75% stake in taxi and private hire vehicle dispatch firm iCabbi through its financing arm. (Renault)
  • Announced that annual synergies from the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance reached €5.7 billion in 2017, up from €5 billion in 2016 driven by new measures such as including Mitsubishi in spare parts, retail financing and benchmarking. (Renault)
  • CEO Ghosn said that Nissan’s CEO had been misquoted in saying a Nissan-Renault merger had “no merit” but instead had simply pointed out that a period of consideration to assess merits was required. (Bloomberg)
  • CEO Ghosn implied in an interview that he will step down before the end of his contract in 2022. (Les Echos)
  • Will invest more than €1 billion in electric vehicle development and production in France, with three sites for vehicles and one for motors. Renault said production capacity of Zoe will double and the Douai factory will begin production of a second electric platform, to be shared with Nissan and Mitsubishi. (Renault)
  • Said the local partner had acquired the land for the forthcoming Pakistani factory and construction will begin before the end of the year, with vehicles rolling off the line in 2020. (Renault)
  • Created the Blue dCi sub-nameplate to differentiate diesel vehicles fitted with urea SCR systems. (Renault)

May

  • Will eliminate the third shift at two Spanish plants, Palencia and Valladolid, due to softening sales of Megane, Captur and Kadjar. 1,400 temporary workers will lose their jobs. (Europa Press)
  • Started selling the battery for the Master and Kangoo electric commercial vehicles on a standalone basis. The 33kWh pack can be obtained for €7,400 (that’s €224 per kWh for a retail customer). (Renault)
  • Faced allegations of price fixing for spare parts in cooperation with PSA. According to the claims, the two companies used Accenture as an intermediary, with the consulting company identifying areas where both companies could raise prices. PSA and Renault both denied wrongdoing. (Manager Magazin)
  • CEO Ghosn said a merger of Renault and Nissan was unlikely before 2020. (Bloomberg)
  • Alliance Ventures will invest in Maniv Mobility’s technology fund and aims to do a deal per month. (Reuters)
  • CEO Ghosn said customers no longer suffer from range anxiety in electric cars “as long as you guarantee more than 300 km”. (Clean Technica)
  • Simplified its line-up in the UK so that there are only three trim levels on major products (from lowest to highest): Play, Iconic and GT Line. (Autocar)
  • Renault CEO Ghosn said “nobody can answer this question” when asked whether Renault and Nissan would merge by 2022. He also said that “more than 95%” of vehicle content needs to be Chinese in order to be competitive in China and that this requires joint ventures. (Macau Business)

April

  • The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance has joined Didi Chuxing’s project to increase availability of BEV and PHEV vehicles for ride sharing drivers. (Nissan)
  • Renault announced an agreement with IKEA in France to provide a fleet of vehicles for short term rental from IKEA stores. The plan is for all vehicles to be electric by 2020. (Renault)
  • Launched a redundancy plan (given the “stable European market”), offset with promises of new jobs for 5,000 young (and cheap) workers. (Renault)
  • Hopes that the electric Twizy quadricycle could become a competitor to motorbikes and is aiming to win a 10,000 vehicle contract from the South Korean post office to increase interest. (Renault)

Q1 2018 Financial Results

  • Said Nissan’s Q1 2018 results would contribute €478 million to Renault’s net income. (Renault)
  • Reported Q1 2018 revenues of €13.2 billion, about flat with the prior year. Registrations were up 4.8% from Q1 2017 to 935,041. Renault blamed exchange (stronger euro) for the difference. (Renault)

March

  • Both companies continued to deny persistent rumours that Nissan and Renault are engaged in merger talks with a view to a new company headquartered in either London or the Netherlands. (Les Echos)
  • The Renault Nissan Mitsubishi alliance announced a series of joint appointments to strengthen shared operational teams. Many of the announcements were matched pairs. As part of the move, cooperation with other OEMs, such as Daimler, was made an alliance responsibility rather than sitting with the individual companies. (Nissan)
  • Showed a concept robo taxi called EZ-GO at the Geneva show. The vehicle features novel closures, including a roof that can open, in order to facilitate entry and exit. The vehicle also relegated the Renault badge to a barely noticeable design feature on the rear 3/4 and a near transparent diamond on the vehicle windscreen. (Renault)
  • Collaborating with Alibaba to create an online sales channel in China on Alibaba’s Tmall site. (Bloomberg)
  • Recruiting 130 employees for its French logistics centres. (Usine Nouvelle)
  • CEO Carlos Ghosn said that a merger between Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi was not an “objective… but something that should happen in a natural way”. (Journal Auto)
  • Hiring 205 employees at Le Mans (Usine Nouvelle); 200 at Cléon (Usine Nouvelle) and 350 at Flins. (Usine Nouvelle)
  • Announced new initiatives for the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, including a deeper involvement for Mitsubishi. By 2022, the group expects to sell 9 million units from 4 common platforms (about 65% of sales) and for 75% of vehicles to use common powertrain. (Nissan)

February

  • Unveiled the all-electric Master Z.E. 1T commercial vehicle, which Renault claims has a 120 km real world range. The new van will be an early adopter of Renault’s Easy Connect fleet management software. (Renault)
  • CEO Carlos Ghosn said he believes that Renault and Nissan are “well advanced” in understanding how to make money from electric cars and that rising raw material costs are not a threat since battery design is improving. (CNBC)
  • As expected, the Renault board recommended that CEO Carlos Ghosn have his contract extended until 2022, calling on him to make the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance “irreversible”. (Renault)
  • CEO Ghosn said that European customers are “running out of diesel” and that retail customer demand for gasoline was much higher than the current sales rate. He cited the Dacia Sandero as a vehicle where Renault was seeing a particularly large swing in demand. (Seeking Alpha)
  • One of the two top executives believed to be in contention to succeed CEO Carlos Ghosn resigned; it is now likely that the chief competitive officer will be named COO and become CEO in time. (Reuters)
  • Said it was holding back on bringing an EV portfolio to India until it knows the government’s infrastructure plan. (Economic Times of India)
  • Production in Flins was disrupted by heavy snow. (France Info)

January

  • Chairman & CEO Ghosn is creating a new structure in the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance to divide operations and strategy roles after he steps down. He believes that it was appropriate to combine these functions in a single person (himself) to form the alliance but that it could harm the continued running. (Reuters)
  • Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi announced their venture capital fund. The rumoured €200 million investment turned out to be only the first year amount with the partners prepared to commit up to $1 billion over five years. (Nissan)
  • Expected to announce a €200 million fund to invest in mobility companies with 40% of the capital from Nissan, 40% from Renault and 20% from Mitsubishi. (Les Echos)

2017

December

  • Reported final 2017 French market registrations of 673,869 units in total -- 554,505 Renault cars and LCVs and 119,357 Dacia vehicles. The total share was 26.4%, slightly down on 2016. (Renault)
  • French media speculated over the top internal and external candidates to replace Carlos Ghosn, predicting that a CEO-designate will be chosen by February. (Les Echos)
  • Signed a joint venture agreement with Brilliance China Automotive to develop and manufacture LCVs. Three segments of vehicle will be produced -- MPVs, medium and heavy vans -- for three brands: Renault, Jinbei and Huasong. The JV is targeting sales of 150,000 units annually by 2022. Renault will have a 49% share. (Renault)
  • Acquired a 40% stake in media company Challenges Group. Renault believes that it will help create content that is specific and engaging for users of autonomous vehicles. (Renault)
  • Said that production of the Alipne A110 sports car has now begun at the Dieppe, France, plant. (Renault)
  • Will achieve 55% local content in Morocco through a set of new agreements with the government. (Reuters)
  • Launched a new 1.3L petrol engine that it has developed in partnership with Daimler. (Renault)
  • Announced the re-launch of Karhoo, the taxi aggregator app that Renault purchased after its failure. The company forecasts that by the end of December over 150,000 taxis will use the app. (Renault)
  • CEO Carlos Ghosn gave an interview in which he said that the industry would be totally transformed in 10 years, with large changes starting in the next three to four years. He said that significant further guidance from regulators was necessary before the winning technology set could be identified. He also said the best business advice he had ever been given was “if you want recognition, buy yourself a dog”. (Nissan)
  • Created a running prototype of the Symbioz concept vehicle in order to show the company’s vision of mobility in 2023 with a autonomous-capable, privately-owned, vehicle. Confusingly, part of this vision seems to be people sitting in the car as it drives, experiencing the drive through virtual reality (video at 01:00 if you don’t believe me). (Renault)

November

  • Signed a joint venture agreement with Al-Futtaim to manufacture and sell vehicles in Pakistan. Construction will begin on a new plant in Karachi in Q1 2018 and car sales will commence in 2019, with locally built units becoming available in larger quantities from 2020. (Renault)
  • Rated the worst OEM for ethical cobalt purchasing in a report by Amnesty International. Page 78 is the key summary. (Amnesty International)
  • Renault declared that its autonomous vehicles have industry-leading obstacle avoidance capabilities. This claim is solely in relation to the way the vehicle executes emergency manoeuvres, not how well it detects obstacles. (Renault)
  • The French government announced that it had reduced its stake in Renault to 15%. (Bloomberg)
  • Dongfeng Renault outlined its strategy to 2022. The company aims to increase sales to 400,000 units annually. There will be nine local models, including three EVs, sold through 400 dealers. (Economic Times of India)

Q3 Financials (October)

  • Reported Q3 revenue and sales (Renault only reports profits every six months). Sales of 866,233 unitswere up 9.4% on a year-on-year basis. Revenues of €12.22 billion were up 15.9%, part of which was the impact of consolidating Avtovaz. (Renault)

October

  • Told workers at its Flins, France plant that it was intending to hire 100 workers on permanent contracts. This is in addition to 200 new recruits earlier in the year. The company will also hire 50 extra workers at the Le Mans plant. The success of the upgraded Zoe is apparently responsible. (Les Echos)
  • Refused to comment on rumours that it has been working on the establishment of a plant in Pakistan since late 2016. (Usine Nouvelle)
  • Created a new subsidiary called Renault Energy Services. The group will concentrate on developing energy infrastructure. Its primary role will be to develop vehicle to grid business models and control systems that can reduce the cost of electricity for electric vehicle owners and to work on 2nd life usage of vehicle batteries (i.e. when the vehicle battery state of charge falls below automotive standard but still has plenty of usable capacity for grid management). (Renault)
  • Has purchased a 25% stake in Jedlix, a provider of technology that can improve the efficiency of vehicle to grid management. (Autocar)
  • Held a capital markets day where it set out its strategy up to 2022. Renault intends to gather further synergies from cost sharing with Nissan and Mitsubishi and has set ambitious growth targets for its business outside Europe (it wants to double sales and triple profits). The company will add 21 new models and expand to 13 new countries. Renault highlighted electric vehicles and commercial vehicles as areas where it believes that it can win share, saying that by 2022 it will have 8 BEVs and that it expects LCV volumes to increase by around 40%. Renault’s presentation also confirmed existing R-N Alliance strategy to have level 4 AVs by 2022 and to operate robo taxi services. (Renault)

September

  • Will implement a line speed reduction in Douai -- producer of Espace, Scenic and Talisman models -- at the end of November. In place of the current two shifts operating at 60 vehicles per hour, one will become a mini shift operating at 30 vehicles per hour. Due to the change, about 700 workers on temporary contracts will be laid off. (Usine Nouvelle)
  • Powertrain demand appears to be holding up well: Renault’s factory in Cléon aims to recruit an additional 100 staff, on top of the 200 hired since the beginning of the year. (Usine Nouvelle)
  • Unveiled the Indian-market Captur B-sized SUV and said that, as with the Russia market version, it would be built on the low cost B0 platform (Renault)
  • Announced an updated set of targets for the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance to achieve by 2022: annual sales of 14 million vehicles; €240 billion turnover; €10 billion of synergies (an artificial figure -- €5 billion claimed currently). The group intend to have 12 purely electric vehicles on sale by 2022 and will launch various levels of driverless systems across 40 vehicles, culminating in a fully autonomous vehicle on sale in 2022. The alliance aims to become an operator of robo taxis, without providing further details. (Nissan)
  • Launched a digital development centre in Russia to create technologies for global markets. (CCFA)
  • Creating an immersive simulator to test the behaviour and response of drivers and passengers to autonomous vehicles, investing €25 million in the project. (Renault)
  • Said it was working towards a localisation target of 80% for the Indian derivative of the Captur (Economic Times of India)
  • Will show a concept car called Symbioz at Frankfurt that shows how Renault sees autonomous, electric and connected trends coming together in a single product. (Renault)

August

  • Renault has collaborated with charging company Connected Energy to integrate used electric car batteries into high power chargers. The idea is that the battery can be charged from the local grid and then discharge at a high rate to a waiting electric vehicle. This allows higher charging rates than many local grids can provide (without an expensive infrastructure upgrade). (Inside EVs)
  • Announced that the Renault-Nissan Alliance would create a new joint venture with Dongfeng, to be called eGT New Energy Automotive, to produce electric vehicles in China. Ownership will be 25% Nissan, 25% Renault and 50% Dongfeng. The initial product will be an A-sized SUV with a sales target of 120,000 units per year, to be launched in 2019. (Nissan)
  • Will reportedly partner with infrastructure company Ferrovial to launch a Spanish car sharing service that uses all-electric vehicles. (Autofactil)
  • Concluded the joint venture agreement with IDRO and NEGIN Holding for additional operations in Iran (on top of the 200,000 unit plant it already has). Renault will own a majority of the business but there will be a “first period of joint control” with the other partners. (Renault)

Q2 Financials (July)

  • Reported first half 2017 financial results. Although operating profit of €1.8 billion was up slightly versus the prior year, the result was lower than expectations. (Renault)
  • Renault published sales figures for the first half. The 1.88 million units sold represented a 10.4% increase on a year-over-year basis, with sales in emerging markets growing particularly strongly. (More…)

July

  • Said that combined sales of Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi vehicles meant that on a year to date basis the alliance was the largest seller of vehicles at 5,268,079 units. (Renault)
  • Said that Karhoo was on track to be relaunched in late 2017 with a new strategy. (Auto Finance News)
  • Said that it is on course to spend more on French digital media advertising than television in 2017, the first year that this will be the case. (More…)
  • Gave an overview of its work on driverless technologies. Renault said that by 2020 it will have single lane control in production vehicles (later than some other OEMs, including Nissan). Amongst other things, Renault highlighted the importance of autonomy and said that its current sensor set included 3 LIDAR devices (2 front, 1 rear) -- a departure from the device at each corner approach of many competitors. Timing was given as “after 2020”. Memo: Renault are also involved in partnerships such as Vedecom. This blog post covered only their in-house efforts. (More…)
  • Announced it will contribute a 1,000 vehicle test fleet for a project to test vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication (e.g. with toll booths). The Scoop V2V project will include other partners and should not to be confused with start-up of the same name that BMW invested in. (More…). The wider cooperation includes Sanef / Abertis (More….)
  • Announced a new joint venture in China with Brilliance Automotive (in addition to its JV with Dongfeng). Renault will have 49% of the JV which will be for commercial vehicles. The JV was formed through the re-capitalisation of Brilliance Automotive’s existing subsidiary Shenyang Brilliance Jinbei. (More…)
  • Has invested in a joint venture with driving simulation company Oktal. Renault has taken a 35% stake in the new entity, to be called Autonomous Vehicle Simulation (AVS), which will include Renault’s in-house simulation software SCANeR.
  • Said that in 2016, the Renault-Nissan alliance had delivered €5 billion in annual synergies, a 16% increase over the figure for the previous year. With the addition of Mitsubishi and further application of CMF-based vehicles, R-N expect this saving to reach at least €5.5 billion by 2018. (More…)
  • France’s finance minister announced that the government would put €10 billion towards innovation, with the money coming from the sale of various company stakes owned by the government. He declined to name the potential sales -- Renault was an inevitable target of speculation. (More…)

June

  • After discussions with the French government, Renault committed itself to €10 million of annual orders from troubled supplier GM&S and to make a shared investment (with PSA) of €10 million in the site from 2018. This appears to pave the way for a takeover of GM&S by GMD. (..)
  • Announced the creation of a scheme called CityMakers to incubate seven start-ups in Paris that will work on urban mobility projects. (..)
  • Said that the Renault-Nissan alliance intends to launch driverless on-demand services “within 10 years”, though likely not starting before 2020. The services at launch are intended to be heavily geo-fenced, including specific pick-up and drop-off locations. (More…)
  • Said that it will expand aluminium injection manufacturing facilities in Valladolid, Spain, creating 100 jobs. (More…)
  • Is reportedly studying the creation of a company that would be paid a share of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance savings and pay bonuses to executives over and above their employment contracts with the alliance companies (and possibly with different disclosure rules). The companies refused to give any details but stopped short of denying the scheme was under consideration. (More…)
  • Saw an attempted viral marketing effort result in a #epicfail as the attempt to suggest that a new range of nail polishes could be used by women on their hands and to touch up scratches on their cars met with accusations of sexism. (More…)
  • Saw media speculation about succession planning for CEO Carlos Ghosn’s replacement. The Renault-Nissan alliance is reportedly considering appointing a shared executive who would pursue synergies between the two. The role would be a platform for potential future leadership of both companies and may well be filled by a current Renault or Nissan executive. (..)
  • Reportedly planning a 100 MW battery storage facility in partnership with Nissan and a business called The Mobility House. The site would contain both new and used batteries. (..)
  • Launched a home energy storage product in partnership with Powervault that uses 2nd life Renault EV batteries. The partners claim that the 2nd life batteries reduce the cost of the home energy storage unit by 30%. The program is still at an early stage, with trial units now being installed. (..)

May

  • Saw an activist investor linked to the UAW (US United Automobile Workers union), along with other signatories, send a letter criticising the breath of Carlos Ghosn’s responsibilities and asking the French state shareholding agency to take a more active role. (..)
  • Agreed a deal to take over some of Intel’s French research and development activities. Intel has five R&D sites in France and announced in mid-2016 that it would sell or close all of them. Renault will take on two sites: Toulouse and Sophia Antipolis, with about 400 employees. (..)
  • According to French media, the incoming French government has complained to Renault about the way that the company’s statements portrayed the impact of the State’s shareholding. (..)
  • Shut down some sites in response to the global “WannaCry” cyber attack. Although Renault did not state which sites were affected, off-the-record sources mentioned Sandouville, Batilly, Dacia’s plant in Mioveni and Novo Mesto amongst others. (..)
  • Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn said that it was “good news” that Emmanuel Macron had been elected president of France. Macron was the architect of the move by the French state to purchase a sufficient stake in Renault to force the Florange law terms for double voting rights for long term shareholders to pass. (..)
  • The Renault Duster scored zero stars in recent global NCAP crash test. (..)
  • Renault’s senior vice president for electric vehicles said that mobility will evolve from car ownership to purchasing a service but that adoption rates would vary by country and the “same amount of cars” would be needed. (..)
  • Held an autonomous vehicle drive event where it told journalists that it would like to launch a (limited) public service in 2020. (..)
  • Carlos Ghosn said that Renault’s aim was to realise an operating margin of around 7% in 2022. (..)

Q1 Financials (April)

  • Q1 2017 revenues (Renault only reports profits every six months) of €13.1 billion were up 25.2% year-over-year (excluding the effect of consolidating Russian unit AVTOVAZ, like-for-like sales increased 19.7%). (..)

April

  • Saw speculation in the French press about the effects of the French state gaining double voting rights in Renault (because of the length of time it has been a shareholder) and recalling that Emmanuel Macron was one of the architects of the action taken by the French state to purchase sufficient shares to force Renault’s acceptance of the Florange Act. Once the double voting rights mature, the state will have around 37% voting rights. (..)
  • Employees of troubled supplier GM&S attempted to occupy Renault’s showroom in central Paris. (..)
  • Expects to double sales of the Renault brand in China to more than 70,000 units in 2017. (..)
  • Reportedly looking at a plan to produce an electric vehicle in China through its local partner Dongfeng, without a joint venture. The idea would be that Dongfeng going it alone might be able to more aggressively reduce costs. (..)
  • Saw 200 employees for failed supplier GM&S blockade Renault’s Le Mans factory. In recent weeks they have also blockaded PSA as workers blame PSA and Renault for not providing sufficient business for the company to continue. (..)
  • Renault will begin exporting vehicles to the Persian Gulf (6 countries) from its Russian plants. (More…)
  • Will conduct self-driving car tests with members of the public, similar to PSA’s recent event (Source)

March

  • Announced a project for 200 Zoés, accompanied by 400 charging stations (supplied by Enel) in Sicily.
  • 160 employees of GM&S, a supplier in receivership, blockaded the PSA plant in Poissy because they accuse PSA and Renault of withdrawing business from the company, forcing it into a potential liquidation (283 employees total).
  • Announced the commissioning of a new moulding line costing €48m at its Brittany foundry (500 employees), increasing production by over 50% -- media reports that the plant is still loss-making on an internally accounted basis.