Renault and Nissan, the pioneers are missing out on the sales charts. What happens? Why can’t they take advantage of being the first to go?
Renault and Nissan, from leaders in EV sales to supporting actors
If we talk about electric cars, it can be said that the first to have believed in it were three brands. Two are historical brands comand Renault and Nissanone is a challenger who started from nothing like Tesla. But while the latter continues to grow from year to year and dominate the global sales rankings, the other two pioneers struggle. There Zoefor a long time leader in Europe has fallen into the supporting positions, out of the top ten. While the Twingo sells half of its most direct competitor, the 500, which also costs a lot more. Similar speech for Nissan, which has long focused on a successful model like the Leaf, but the latest versions have fallen short of expectations. The autonomy is not up to the competitors and even the Leaf has plummeted in the sales charts, which once dominated. While the long-awaited SUV, theAriya, remains a question mark.
Renault and Nissan: traditional cars make money, electric ones don’t
Let’s see what happens at Renault, while we will deal with Nissan in a subsequent article. The reasons for this impasse are many. Starting with a much less generous pricing policy (as discounts) imposed by the new n.1, Luca De Meo, to plug the budget gaps. They then weighed (negative) image shots such as the sensational rejection of Zoe in the safety crash-tests of the European body Euro NCAP: zero stars. But the real underlying reason is probably another and it is that Renault is in the middle of the ford of a profound revision of objectives wanted by De Meo. Linked to an observation that the Italian manager made upon his arrival in the summer of 2020. That is: traditional cars make money, the electric still no, for the huge expense of designing platforms, engines or software as quickly as possible.
De Meo: “Old outdated recipes, now share investments”
In short, we need to change direction and Renault’s disappointing results are linked precisely to the transition phase in the gear change dictated by the Italian manager. The password is now sharing. “I fear that old recipes are no longer enoughthat the huge investments required are not sustainable “, explained De Meo. “We want to co-invest, co-develop and co-create “. And so, to mitigate the cost of investments in the new electric range, they were created partnership for batteries, motors and even electronics. However, while maintaining control of the vehicle value chain: “Three years ago we only covered 10% of the value chain, now it is over 30% and we are going much faster than we expected. We will be 80% coverage well before 2030, our initial goal “.
In 2024 we will see, with the R5 and the Scenic, the beginning of the turning point
In practice: alliances have been created in every sector with specialized partners. By sharing the costs, but maintaining control of the product development. And with the condition, at the time agreed with the French state as part of the strategy Renaulation, that new investments are made in France. The most significant example concerns batteries: a partnership has been created with Chinese Envisionwhich will build a factory in Douai. From here it will supply the assembly line of the Megane and of R5. In short, the revenge will have to come with the new range, of which the Megane is only the beginning. The current difficulties in sales are linked to the fact that we are proceeding with models, the Zoe and the Twingo, started at the end of the stroke . The turning point will begin in 2024, with the R5 e the new Scenic, the latter no longer a minivan, but an SUV. On batteries, of course.