The French carmaker Renault, saying it doesn’t anticipate auto gross sales to bounce again shortly from the pandemic, introduced a plan on Thursday to outlive and earn a living whereas promoting fewer automobiles and shifting emphasis to electrical automobiles.
The plan introduced by Luca de Meo, who took over as Renault’s chief government in July, is a pointy departure from the technique pursued by Carlos Ghosn, the previous chief government of Renault’s alliance with Japanese automakers Nissan and Mitsubishi.
Mr. de Meo implicitly criticized Mr. Ghosn throughout an internet briefing for journalists and analysts on Thursday, saying that Renault had “too many layers, too many silos, too many shared duties. All that mattered had been dimension and volumes.”
Beneath the brand new plan, Renault will reduce manufacturing capability, scale back the variety of fashions it provides and simplify manufacturing by rising the variety of elements shared amongst automobiles. For instance, all gasoline automobiles will use the identical fundamental engine.
Mr. de Meo mentioned his intention was to keep away from job cuts past these already deliberate. The French authorities is an enormous shareholder within the firm, and has resisted job cuts previously.
“We’re additionally right here to guard the work of individuals,” Mr. de Meo informed reporters throughout a convention name. “Now we have so many alternatives to do away with different prices.”
Throughout a brutal interval for the auto business, Renault was among the many hardest hit. The corporate mentioned Tuesday that sales fell greater than 20 p.c in 2020, to lower than three million automobiles.
“We aren’t betting on a robust restoration,” Clotilde Delbos, the Renault chief monetary officer, mentioned throughout the presentation. “Value discount would be the strongest lever for our enchancment.”
Electrical automobiles are amongst Renault’s few vibrant spots. Gross sales of the Zoe, a two-door battery powered hatchback, doubled in 2020 regardless of the pandemic. The Zoe displaced the Tesla Mannequin 3 because the best-selling electrical automobile in Europe. Nevertheless, at round 20,000 euros after subsidies, or $24,000, the Zoe prices half as a lot because the Mannequin 3 and is more likely to be much less worthwhile.
Mr. de Meo talked about Renault’s troubled however important alliance with Japanese carmakers Nissan and Mitsubishi solely in passing. However on the finish of the video presentation, Makoto Uchida, the chief government of Nissan, made an look to say that he endorsed the Renault plan.
“I’m joyful to see Renault again on the trail to profitability,” Mr. Uchida mentioned.