PARIS — When CEO Luca de Meo introduces the new-look Renault on Thursday, he will be pivoting from a strategy focusing on volume and global scale to profitable sales in growing segments, with an emphasis on individual brands over regions.
De Meo’s plan, which he calls Renaulution, will replace Drive the Future, the last midterm plan from longtime CEO Carlos Ghosn, who stepped down following his arrest in Japan in November 2018 on charges of financial wrongdoing at alliance partner Nissan.
De Meo is expected to share the podium with deputy CEO Clotilde Delbos, who is also Renault CFO. Delbos was instrumental in devising a plan with group Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard that will cut 2 billion euros ($2.4 billion) in costs in the next two years. That plan was revealed before de Meo took over as CEO on July 1.
In a repudiation of Ghosn’s volume strategy, a key lever of that plan is a reduction in global production by 20 percent. Instead, De Meo’s mantra – drawing on his experience at Volkswagen Group as head of its Seat brand – is “value over volume.”
De Meo and Delbos will focus first on shoring up Renault’s finances. The automaker lost a record 7.29 billion euros in the first half of 2020, and in the second half drew down 3 billion euros worth of French-government backed financing. A negative contribution from Nissan, in which Renault holds a 43 percent stake, deepened the pain.
Ghosn’s plan, which covered the years 2017-22, envisioned revenue of 70 billion euros in 2022, from 51 billion in 2016; and operating profits of 7 percent in 2022, from 6.4