Renault reveals model plans for the next six years as part of its future strategy

Renault has announced its six-year strategy plan dubbed ‘Drive The Change’ which aims to grow the company by selling more than three million vehicles per year, generate at least two billion euros in “free cash flow” and achieve profit margins of at least five per cent by 2013.

Carlos Ghosn, chairman and chief executive of Renault, said that the company had recently weathered the severe recession because of Renault’s success in light commercial vehicles and the Dacia family of budget vehicles.

Quality standards are also claimed to have improved dramatically, with warranty costs falling 57 per cent between 2006 and 2010. Renault says there are “seven levers” for meeting the 2016 objectives, including a serious move into electric vehicle production, launching more models, sharing future platforms with both Nissan and Daimler and introducing new more fuel-efficient drivetrains.

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The latter include the new 1.6-litre Energy dCi 130 twin-turbo diesel engine, which is claimed to reduce fuel use by 20 per cent, compared to the previous-generation diesel units and the upcoming Energy TCe petrol engines, which are said to be 30 per cent more efficient. Renault says that its European fleet average Co2 output will fall from137g/km today to 120g/km in 2013 and less than 100g/km by the time all the company’s EV models are on sale in 2016.

Renault will have four electric vehicles (the Fluence ZE, Kangoo ZE, Twizy and Zoe) on sale by 2012 and says ‘further models’ will arrive by 2016. Renault and its alliance partner Nissan expect to have sold 1.5m EVs by 2016. From 2015 the two makers will have the capacity to build 500,000 EVs each year.

Renault will also embark on a new product push and expects to have 44 models on sale in 2013, and 48 by 2016, under the various Renault Group brands. In 2010 the group had 40 models on sale and just 30 models in 2005. These new models include a heavily revised Twingo in 2011 and the crucial all-new Clio in 2012 - both featuring Renault’s new design language. Dacia will also get a new small family car and a light commercial vehicle in 2012.

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Renault and Nissan are also developing a new ‘C/D’ platform to cover the Focus and Mondeo sectors which should eventually underpin 1.5 million vehicles per year. Renault is also sharing the rear-engined ‘A-platform’ which will underpin the next-generation Smart and Twingo familes.

Indeed, 80 per cent of the new models launched between 2014 and 2016 will be built on a new shared platform.

Renault is also developing a new modular parts strategy for the next M0 entry-level platform, the new C-sector supermini platform and the C/D sector platform. Renault says a new design and production system known as ‘monozukuri’ (borrowed from Nissan) has been introduced at all its Group factories. This, it claims, will reduce the ‘direct cost’ of its vehicles by four per cent per year, leading to a 12 per cent reduction in costs by 2013.

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In Europe, Renault says that the ‘household car budgets’ shrank by 25 per cent between 2000 and 2010, so the company will ‘continue to benefit’ from the market shift to ‘small cars and affordable technology’. However, it says that Brazil, India and Russia are its ‘three international priorities’.

Brazil is expected to Renault’s second biggest market by 2013, Russia the fourth and India ‘eleventh, up 20 places’. Renault expects to secure five per cent of the Brazilian market will three new model this year, the new Dacia Sandero, Renault Fluence saloon and Dacia Duster.

It should also take six per cent of the Russian market (not including the Lada brand which Renault controls) with the Dacia Duster in 2012 and another new model based on the same platform and built at Lada’s Togliatti factory.

Hilton Holloway

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