Renault is one of the leading car and light commercial vehicle brands in Western Europe, but until comparatively recently it had only a minimal presence outside that region. However, in a few key deals during the two decades from 1999, Renault transformed itself into a global force with substantial operations in Asia and a foothold in North America. Where once there was only the Renault brand, the group now controls Japanese marque Nissan via a 43% shareholding, as well as Dacia in Eastern Europe and Samsung Motors in Korea. In 2007, the group also agreed an important strategic partnership with Russian manufacturer AvtoVaz, which gave Renault effective management control of the widely known Lada car brand. In 2010, Renault agreed a global cooperation partnership with Daimler, covering small cars and light commercial vehicles. Since then though, like all mass-market auto manufacturers, and especially those over-exposed to the struggling European market, Renault suffered steep falls in sales, before finally scraping a recovery in 2014. It further bolstered its footprint by taking control of another Japanese manufacturer, Mitsubishi Motors, in 2015. Yet much of that progress was threatened in 2019 after Japanese authorities arrested Carlos Ghosn, architect of Renault's expansion and its alliance with Nissan, on charges of financial misconduct. With Ghosn in jail awaiting trial, Renault too was forced to jettison its charismatic leader. In the following months, the attempts to rebuild its badly fractured relationship with Nissan cost the job of Ghosn's immediate successor Thierry Bolloré as well as an alternative alliance with Fiat Chrysler (who agreed to merge with rival PSA instead). Luca De Meo joined the group in July 2020 as CEO. Revenues for 2019 were €55.5bn. However, net income plunged from €3.45bn in 2018 to just €19m as a result of a dramatic plunge in the contribution from deeply troubled partner Nissan and a large tax write-off. Renault sold a combined total of 3.75m vehicles in 2019, down slightly on the year before. It remains heavily dependent on Europe in general and France in particular. Its only presence in North America is via Nissan, and so far its profile in China - through a joint venture with Dongfeng Motors - remains low. It is most active there with light commercial vehicles under the Jinbei and Huasong brands. In 2019, the core Renault brand sold a total of 1.94m passenger cars worldwide and 412k light commercial vans. Dacia contributed a further 691k passenger cars and 46k LCVs, Lada 413k cars and vans and Renault Samsung 79k. France is the group's biggest market by far, accounting for almost two-thirds of revenues, and a total of 699k vehicles sold. Renault is the best-selling brand in the domestic market, though rival PSA's combined volumes are higher. The next biggest markets by volumes are Russia (509k), Germany (247k) and Brazil (239k).
Capsule checked 17th January 2020
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Historical profile information for Renault
Adbrands Daily Update 27th Aug 2020: "The Next Chapter of a Great Story". Inspired perhaps by the superb extended film released earlier this year by Publicis.Poke in the UK for the local Renault business, Publicis Conseil has also taken the leap into long-form life stories for their lead auto client. The subject matter is rather less controversial - you may remember that the UK film was a sweet tale of the developing love affair between two girls who first meet on a UK/France exchange programme. This film takes a more conventional route - a tale of the family bonds between a single-parent mother and her son over the space of 30 years - but it's no less emotionally rich and affecting. Much of the credit goes to the strong performance of the lead actress, who gives rich and fully rounded life to an otherwise rather stock character. Another intriguing element is the unexpected setting: not as you might expect France, but Sweden (for no apparent reason). In case you were wondering, Slakthusomradet, where part of the film is set, is an industrial area on the outskirts of Stockholm, originally the city's meat packing district. Fine soundtrack choice too: 'A Caged Bird-Imitations of Life' by the Cinematic Orchestra, featuring Roots Manuva.
Adbrands Daily Update 17th Mar 2020: Auto manufacturers across Europe have begun to shut down production to reduce the spread of coronavirus. PSA Groupe and Fiat Chrysler announced the suspension of all manufacturing in the region, while Renault shut all 12 of its French factories and Volkswagen shuttered plants in the worst hit countries of Italy and Spain. Ford and Nissan also closed some operations in Europe, mainly in Spain.
Adbrands Daily Update 29th Jan 2020: As had been rumoured for several days, Renault confirmed former Volkswagen Group executive Luca de Meo as its new CEO. De Meo is widely regarded as one of the industry's rising stars. He oversaw a dramatic recovery in the performance of Volkswagen's Seat subsidiary over the past four years, and was previously VW's global marketing chief. Before that he worked wonders at Fiat, not least through the spectacular relaunch of the Fiat 500. However, VW is holding him to a lnegthy non-compete clause. He won't be able to take up his new role until July. Interim CEO Clotilde Delbos continues until then, and will become deputy CEO in July.
Adbrands Daily Update 16th Dec 2019: Renault's new marketing director Xavier Martinet has wasted little time since stepping up to that role two weeks ago. The group today unveiled a new marketing venture that will take charge of all creative and media for Renault and sister brand Dacia across Europe. Some 200 personnel from Renault, creative network Publicis and Omnicom's OMD media agency will join forces under the banner of new entity Voila. "This new agile collaboration model responds to the evolution of Groupe Renault's global marketing strategy to drive a transformation from mass marketing to individualized marketing," said the group. "This embodies the ambition to reshape the entire Groupe Renault marketing chain around the world, putting the customer at the center of the debate and with a constant concern for agility and efficiency, creative and media relevance."
Adbrands Daily Update 2nd Dec 2019: In another sudden change to Renault's senior management team, the group announced the abrupt departure of EVP global marketing Francois Renard after only a year in his role. He is replaced by Xavier Martinet, previously head of Renault's Italian subsidiary. Martinent becomes SVP global marketing.
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