Electric R5, Twizy… What Luca de Meo is up to to boost Renault


FInie, the grace period when everyone was ecstatic at the marketing genius who came from Seat to save Renault? This Thursday is the real baptism of fire for Luca de Meo. Officially arrived on 1is last July, the new general manager of Renault passes his grand oral. He unveils his strategic plan for the coming years. Called “Renaulution”, it will be presented in large television studios in the Saint-Denis plain in order to make this virtual presentation an event. The future models of the four brands of the Renault group (Renault, Alpine, Dacia, Mobilize, a brand dedicated to new mobility) will be present on site. Luca de Meo and Jean-Dominique Senard, president of Losange, have already discussed this plan on Monday with the state shareholder (up to 15% of the capital), during a meeting with the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire and the Minister of Industry Agnès Pannier-Runacher. Everything would have gone well … Especially since if a strengthening of the economies is expected following the losses in 2020, it would not concern France, but other regions. A savings plan of 2 billion euros and the elimination of 15,000 jobs in the world, including 4,600 in France, were announced in May, two months before the arrival of the former boss of Seat.

The Italian manager has already launched several projects, such as the reorganization of the group into four flagship brands, which he mentioned in an interview with Point last September and in an internal memo. Luca de Meo is inspired by the work done by Carlos Tavares at PSA by manufacturing models with high added value without racing for volumes like the ex-CEO of Renault-Nissan Carlos Ghosn. “Carlos Tavares, at PSA, has done an extraordinary job with a good move upmarket, with the Peugeot 3 008 and 5 008 or the Citroën Aircross. It is a move that Renault did not make. The center of gravity of the Renault range must be higher. When I was at Seat, moving upmarket allowed us in four years to increase the average price that a customer was willing to pay for a car by 30%, ”he told us in September.

READ ALSOEXCLUSIVE. De Meo’s plan to save Renault

The big comeback of the Renault 5

The CEO of Losange will present an ambitious product plan for the coming years. A 100% electric Mégane is already planned for this year, manufactured on the new CMF-EV platform shared with Nissan, the launch of Arkana, a coupe SUV, already available in Russia and reminiscent of the BMW X4, and the new Kangoo . According to our information, the event should be the return of the Renault R5. A mythical, cult model from the 1970s… that he would bring back to life. A bit like one of the great highlights of his career, when he was at Fiat: he had successfully relaunched the Fiat 500 during a memorable show. “To celebrate the launch of the car, there were 250,000 people in the streets of Turin. It was crazy ! This car has been a phenomenon, not just commercial, but popular, ”Luca de Meo told us. No popular celebration, however, for the new R5, Covid-19 requires.

Renault wants to build on its lead in electrics, with the new electric Twingo and Dacia Spring. “Our experience should enable us to occupy a privileged place in the future on the electricity market”, thinks the manager. To achieve this, he is betting above all on the future Mégane eVision sedan, which will be marketed in early 2022 and produced on the new 100% electric CMF-EV platform, also used for the manufacture of the Nissan Ariya SUV. The French manufacturer is already a leader in a booming electric market. In particular, more than 100,000 ZOEs were sold last year, more than double that of 2019.

Unlike other manufacturers, the Losange has fulfilled its CO obligations2 for the year. The two other novelties of Thursday should be the new F1 of Alpine, where Laurent Rossi, ex-director of the strategy of the group, has replaced Cyril Abiteboul, and the new mini-electric quadricycle Twizy of Mobilize. Here again, like the Fiat 500 and the R5, Luca de Meo applies for Twizy a strategy that he implemented at Seat, which he revolutionized, where he presented the Seat Minimo, an improved version of the first Twizy of Renault. The new electric model of the Twizy du Losange would be even more practical for braving traffic jams and parking in urban centers given its small footprint.

Will Renault take off on the stock market?

Regarding savings, several avenues will be discussed, Luca de Meo could decide to ease off in South America and Turkey, a region and a country severely affected by the crisis. Renault lost 7.3 billion euros in the first half of 2020. However, after a 34% drop in sales during this period, it was contained over the year to – 21% (to almost 3 million euros). units), thanks to a more lenient second half. Renault ensures that the year 2021 will start “with a higher level of orders than in 2019, a lower level of stock (by around 20% compared to 2019) and an increase in price across the entire range” , according to Denis Le Vot, commercial director of the Renault group. One of the challenges of Thursday’s presentation will be whether Luca de Meo will go on a honeymoon with investors… Renault is currently only worth around 11 billion euros on the stock market, against more than 700 billion dollars for Tesla.


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