The hyped car back then in 1972 when it was first launched by Renault, the R-5 will make a comeback as “an electric car that everyone can afford,” says De Meo.
French Automobile company Renault is set to bring back its one of the most popular 1970’s hatchback car in a modernised electric version. The company is keen on moving towards a clean energy shift by drafting its new revival plan, that will be to uplift its market from past disorders. After the arrest of its Ex-Chief Carlos Ghosn, the old-timer Italian industrialist Luca De Meo has been appointed as the new CEO. The new chief has strategized the next five-year plan for the company by focusing more on the profitable segments and has also promised a smooth and well-organised operation.
The hyped car back then in 1972 when it was first launched by Renault, the R-5 will make a comeback as “an electric car that everyone can afford,” says De Meo. The initial R-5 was built as an everyday “supercar”, and is still in demand as the fans are always ready to spend for those vintage turbo versions. It shows its popularity and is still considered the best choice among the vintage car freaks. “It is instantly recognised by millions of drivers – it’s a free publicity,” says Flavien Neuvy of France’s Cetelem Auto Research Group.
Renault is reducing the number of its other prototypes while increasing its vehicle prices by thousands of euros. By 2023, it plans to lift its operating margins by 3 per cent and a further 5 per cent by 2025. As the sales had dropped in the first half of the last year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the company is set to make a major comeback from the loss of 7.3 billion euro. Renault has been producing electric vehicles in Europe from as long as 2010. Around 325,000 electric vehicles have been sold in Europe since 2010, claims the company. It had acquired the idea of electric vehicles very early by launching their small and subcompact cars Zoe and Twingo under former CEO Ghosn who was ruled out of the company in 2019 after his arrest in Tokyo on the financial misconduct charges.
Moving forward, De Meo’s main focus is on the upcoming bigger cars, and out of the 24 new models planned to be launched in 2025, 10 will be either battery or hydrogen operated. Renault is planning on building ” the biggest electric car factory in Europe”, which would most probably be born in the Northern France region, while it is also partnering with Google on connected vehicles and incorporating artificial intelligence. Dacia and Lada, which are Renault’s successful low-cost brands will soon float their new models. SUV ‘Bigster’ for the former and a new variant of ‘Niva 4X4’ for the latter.
De Meo is targeting sales of 3.1 million by 2025, very much unlike the former CEO who had planned the sales to be around 5 million across 100 countries. The main focus area of the new chief would be on the high potential countries such as India, Latin America and South Korea. The company is also preparing on its cost-cutting, pretty much focusing on saving 3 billion euros by the year 2025, without cutting down more jobs as around 15,000 employees lost their jobs at the company since last May. The new face of the previously popular model R-5 will also help in the repayment of the 5-billion-euro emergency loan that the company took last year from the French State, which also owns a 15% stake in the company. In sales, After Volkswagen and Toyota, Renault and its Japanese partner Nissan and Mitsubishi are currently the world’s third-largest automaker group. It sold around 10.2 million cars in 2019.
There has been a major shift to electric vehicles, as the authorities around the world are taking strict actions on limiting CO2 emission, thus requiring car companies to bulk up their investments to create more sustainable vehicles. Competition awaits as PSA Peugeot Citroen a homegrown competitor to Renault has already merged with Fiat Chrysler, moving the new group Stellantis to the fourth place.