PARIS (Reuters) – French carmaker Renault’s new Chief Executive Luca de Meo is set for his first major test on Thursday with a strategy reset aimed at lifting margins at the loss-making firm, and which is likely to focus on fewer, more profitable models.
The update for analysts and investors is the first glimpse of De Meo’s full vision for Renault after taking the reins last July, in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, following a stint running Volkswagen’s Seat brand.
Four years after former boss-turned-fugitive Carlos Ghosn unveiled his bombastic view for Renault, based on expanding car volumes globally, De Meo has already signalled a change of tack.
The group is likely to exit some unprofitable countries or markets, and has yet to reveal the line-up of cars it wants to entice customers with over the next three to eight years.
The French carmaker, which was struggling with waning sales even before the COVID-19 crisis and has been trying to get a partnership with Japan’s Nissan back on track, is already counting on cost cuts to reboot the business.
Renault is expected to put the onus on electric vehicles, sources close to the matter said – including at some of its brands like sportscar maker Alpine, and by reviving some of its now extinct hit models from the 1960s to 1990s.
(Reporting by Sarah White and Gilles Guillaume; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)