Revenues fell 19% in Q1 of 2020.
Sales dropped 36% in the same period.
Renault is preparing a 2 billion euro cost-cutting plan.
This story is of interest on many levels. The French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire did not mince words during an interview on Europe 1 radio on Friday: “Yes, Renault could disappear.” While the European Union has granted approval for a 5 billion euro loan for Renault, Le Maire has not yet signed off on the loan. While we never get political here on Motor Illustrated, we think the French Government’s requests in exchange for support are a good example to follow.
Le Maire, as reported by Automotive News Europe, is seeking commitments from automakers in exchange for the money. There are three specific areas: “electric vehicles; the fair treatment of sub-contractors; and that they base advanced technology activities in France.” Finally, the government also wants vehicle production to be relocated locally. All of these points seem fair and economically responsible.
Also part of the plan to cut costs may be chopping slow-selling models, as many manufacturers will likely be forced to do. The Renault Espace, a very popular minivan introduced in 1984 should be first to go, followed by the Scenic and the Talisman.
We reported only days ago about some of Nissan’s European plans and while they include many references to Renault, the opposite is not true. No matter however as Nissan is in the troves of cutting 20,000 jobs, most of them in Europe. This is a considerable increase over the 12,500 positions they’d previously intended to cut. These jobs will be the result of plant closures, the Barcelona plant for example, and Nissan pulling the plug on Datsun.
We’ll have to wait to see Renault Group Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard’s upcoming strategic plan expected on May 29th. It comes last after Nissan’s plan coming on the 28th. Both will be preceded by the Alliance’s own umbrella plan on the 27th.