Renault to examine Ghosn plans in strategic review

29 October 2019

29 October 2019

Renault is to conduct a strategic review with ′nothing left off the table’ as it attempts to distance itself from the reign of Carlos Ghosn.

The review will cover all aspects of the business, including the company’s participation in Formula 1, and could see the potential to welcome new partners to buy both its platforms and components as it looks to restore both profitability and credibility.

The French carmaker has been brutal in its efforts to rid itself of its former CEO’s influence over the last weeks, including disposing Thierry Bolloré, the man who took over the position following the Brazilian’s resignation after his imprisonment in Japan for financial misconduct. The review will examine the decisions made by Ghosn and the carmaker aims to complete it within a few months.

Formula review

Clotilde Delbos, interim CEO, told analysts on a Q3 financial results call that there was little prospect of sales to partners rebounding in the near future, so the company would look for new partners to whom it can sell cars and components.

She added that the company hoped to conclude within a few months a review of its “Drive the Future” strategy, a plan that was launched in 2017 by Ghosn and which now may be amended as part of the Renault Nissan Alliance’s effort to put the Ghosn era behind it.

F1 motor racing, a project of Ghosn’s that costs Renault millions of euros to fund each year, is among everything being looked at, though it is not being targeted, she said. The company runs its own team and supplies McLaren, although the UK group is to switch to Mercedes-Benz power units in 2021.

′Everything can be on the table at some point,’ Delbos said. ′It is too early to mention the routes we are working on; we need to refine, we have quite a few ideas already that have been put on paper before we can announce everything, I guess in a few months.’

Rocky road

Renault’s third-quarter revenue fell 1.6% to €11.3 billion, caused in part by a drop in production at Nissan and industrial partner Daimler and declining demand for diesel engines. Vehicle sales in the quarter were down by 4.4%.

Renault uses its plants to build vehicles for Nissan and Daimler, and it is a specialist in making diesel engines for other automakers.

Sales of the vehicles it makes for partners have slowed, with a knock-on effect on Renault’s revenues, while demand for diesel engines in Europe has declined.