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Renault launches new cars, adopts new strategy

‘Renaulution’ will move away from driving volumes to creating brand value

The worldwide chip shortage has delayed the planned 2021 introduction of the new Renault Captur SUV and Clio hatchback in SA, with the vehicles only likely to arrive next year.

Renault’s new Kiger compact crossover is still on track to go on sale here in September to replace the Sandero, while the French brand will also introduce facelifted Triber, Koleos and Duster ranges in 2021. The seven-seater Triber, which was launched in early 2020 with a normally-aspirated 1.0engine, will also soon offer the option of a more powerful turbocharged unit.

In future, Renault SA plans to launch the new Arkana compact SUV-coupé while the Megane will be phased out due to dwindling demand for C-segment hatchbacks. The Renault Alaskan one-ton bakkie is scheduled for a local launch late in 2022.

In announcing the new-model plans at a media briefing in Johannesburg last week, Jaco Oosthuizen, MD of Renault SA, also spoke about the brand’s new global transformation strategy called “Renaulution”.

Recently revealed by the new CEO of Groupe Renault, Luca de Meo, the strategy will see a focus on brand-building and profitability across the board, through a brand shift from driving volumes to creating brand value.

Oosthuizen called it a profound transformation from the aggressive expansion plan pursued by Carlos Ghosn, the former boss of the Renault-Nissan alliance who has turned fugitive.

There will be greater emphasis on building the individual brands within the Renault Group, as well as strengthening the various facets of the business by addressing inefficiencies.

De Meo also said Renault’s brand has been diluted, so it will need to cut back on the number of products within different ranges by about 30% and could also raise prices for its small passenger cars, or C-segment, by 25%-30%.

About 80% of the group volume will be on three alliance platforms, with engines rationalised from eight to four core families.

De Meo, who took over as Renault CEO in July 2020, said generating cash and restoring profitability was an immediate priority. Renault last year announced plans to cut about 15,000 jobs, shrink production and restructure French plants in a bid to save €2bn.

Renault’s new strategy is accompanied by a new visual identity, with a redesigned logo that lacks the Renault wordmark.

Locally, Renault SA is no longer a joint venture with Renault France. On April 23 2021 the local distributor became a 100% subsidiary of Motus Holdings after the latter bought the remaining 40% stake from the global group.

The new logo coincides with the “Renaulution” turnaround plan.