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When Renault makes its revolution, it gives rise to “Renaulution”. The strategic plan of the French car manufacturer was presented this Thursday, January 14 to relaunch the company in great difficulty. New models are planned, and the focus is on the electric car.
Renault is doing badly. The figures released at the start of the week were just confirmation: global sales have dropped by 21% last year. A year 2020 full of turmoil for Renault: the Covid-19 crisis of course, but also the change of CEO. Carlos Ghosn, accused of financial embezzlement, was replaced this summer by the Italian Luca de Meo, former CEO of Seat.
An economy plan is also underway. Nearly 15,000 job cuts are planned in the various factories and technocentres. Renault sells less, the manufacturer must renew itself and bounce back. For this, Renault will ” produce less, be more economical and target only profitable markets in order to improve margins », Announced the group this Thursday morning.
The savings plan, launched last May, has been completed. in advance “. It will therefore be extended to 2023 to reach 2.5 billion euros in savings, with a target of at least 3 billion euros within four years. The group will also resize its industrial capacity. From 4 million vehicles produced in 2019, it will increase to 3.1 million in 2025.
Ten new electric models
The automaker, however well started in the electric race with the famous Zoe in 2012, has gradually fallen behind its competitors. Ten new electric models are therefore found at the heart of Renault’s strategy. Among them, a battery-powered Dacia. Renault wants to make it the cheapest electric car on the market.
Luca de Meo explains that “ Renault wants to work for the “democratization” of electricity “. It will be able to rely on a new model: the return of the legendary R5, Renault’s historic car, star of the 1970s. Retro in style for a slightly greater commitment to ecological transition.
This comprehensive strategy is widely criticized by the unions. In a press release, the CGT castigates this strategic plan, which it describes as ” communication operation whose objective is to respond to the demands of the financial markets “. For the CGT, nothing changes among the leaders of Renault. ” Profitability and short-term profit remain the compass that guides them », Declares the union.
The CFE-CGC, the majority union at Renault, also criticizes the economy plan. The four unions, often in disagreement, are at least on this point. The savings plan is catastrophic, they say, and employees are afraid. The closure of the Choisy-le-Roi (Val-de-Marne) site and the conversion of the Flins (Yvelines) plant, which will soon no longer produce new vehicles, are also worrying.
At the Lardy research and development center, near Paris, nearly 900 jobs will disappear by the fall of 2021, on a site that normally has 2,400.