Renault announces new six-year strategy from 2011-2016

Published: 10 February 2011

Renault today announced a new six-year strategy dubbed Renault 2016 – Drive the Change. A typically naff marketing-led title, but there’s some interesting detail on CEO Carlos Ghosn’s vision for Renault between now and 2016. Like how he wants to build 1.5 million electric cars in the next five years. How he’ll integrate Renault more closely with Nissans and Mercs. And how he’s putting the emphasis back on design and technology.

The plan is designed to secure Renault’s position as one of Europe’s biggest car makers – and spells out how Ghosn plans to increase sales to more than 3 million vehicles annually by 2013, generating at least €2 billion cash flow. He’s also gunning for a 5% margin by then.

Here’s how they’re hoping to do it:

• A wider product range. Renault and Dacia will sell 48 model ranges by 2016, compared with 40 in 2010 and 30 in 2005
• Sharing technologies across the Renault-Nissan Alliance, and the partnership with Daimler. By 2014, 80% of new models will be on shared platforms, increasing efficiencies
• Focus on establishing Renault as Europe’s dominant EV manufacturer. On top of three new cars arriving in 2011 (Fluence ZE, Kangoo ZE and Twizy), the Zoe arrives in 2012 and ‘a complete EV range’ will follow
• Renault and Nissan will have 1.5 million EVs on the road worldwide by 2016
• From 2015, the Alliance will have capacity to build 500,000 battery cars a year
• Continued petrol and diesel development, combined with electric cars, will drop Renault’s group CO2 emissions from today’s 137g/km to 120g/km by 2013 and below 100g/km from 2016
• Continuing dominance in the van market (Renault has been CV leader in Europe for 13 years)
• Improving quality across the group; Renault claims warranty costs tumbled 57% between 2006 and 2010
• Refreshed design language ushered in by Dutch design chief Laurens van den Acker. The 2010 DeZir concept is a stylistic marker, the 2011 Twingo and 2012 Clio will be the first production cars to showcase the new design – with an ‘emphasis on warmth and sensuality’
• New manufacturing processes will cut the direct cost of building cars by 4% a year
• Outside of Europe, the focus will be on Renault’s strong territories of Brazil, India and Russia

Under Carlos Ghosn’s ambitious new plan, he hopes to keep the momentum up which saw him bring together Renault and Nissan – two disparate manufacturing groups, let us not forget – successfully a decade ago. The lustre rubbed off during the recession, but he hopes that Renault 2016 – Drive the Change will put the company back on track.

He should be helped by the group’s own forecast that car sales globally will grow 6% in 2011. Ghosn now just has to hope that betting the farm on electric vehicles won’t come back and bite him on the behind.

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By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet