RENAULT: MOST PROFITABLE SALES UP IN 2021, VOLUMES DOWN
by Gilles Guillaume
PARIS (Reuters) – Renault announced on Monday a sharp increase in its sales to individuals in 2021, the central lever of its financial recovery strategy, which eclipses the announcement of a third consecutive year of falling global sales in volume due to semiconductor shortages.
In the first exchanges on the Paris Stock Exchange, the action of the French car manufacturer gained 1.83%.
“Renault Group is continuing its commercial policy initiated in the third quarter of 2020, which is leading to an increase in the share of its sales on the most profitable channels,” said the diamond group in a press release.
In the five main European markets, the share of sales to individuals, which are more profitable than sales to fleets, now represents 58%, up nearly six points compared to 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the leadership of its new managing director Luca de Meo, Renault has turned its back on several years of an ambitious volume growth strategy in an attempt to improve its financial situation.
The group, which in 2020 suffered a historic loss of more than eight billion euros and which will publish its 2021 financial results on February 18, is also betting on the mid-size car segment, which is more profitable than that of small cars. The year 2022 will be marked in this regard by the arrival of the electric Mégane and the Austral SUV, which will complete the all-new Arkana crossover.
This focus on profitability over volumes, combined with chip shortages, led to a 4.5% drop in the group’s global car and van sales last year to 2,696,401 units.
Renault, the manufacturer’s main brand, saw its sales fall by 5.3% (-10.5% for cars, +19% for vans) while those of the Korean brand Renault Samsung Motors and the Chinese JV Jinbei , two past growth drivers, fell by 36.3% and 41.7% respectively.
The shortage of components deprived the group of the production of 500,000 vehicles last year, including around 400,000 for the diamond brand.
“We can reasonably think that by having full capacity in terms of production (…) we would have returned to an increase compared to 2020”, specified during a press conference call Fabrice Cambolive, commercial director of the brand. Renault.
Dacia, the group’s highly profitable low-cost brand, fared well with sales growth of 3% last year, as did high-end sports brand Alpine, which rebounded 74% .
Sales of electric and hybrid vehicles, essential for achieving CO2 targets and which also contribute to the increase in average revenue per model, accounted for 30% of Renault brand passenger car sales last year in Europe, compared to 17 % in 2020.
In 2022, if chip shortages do not hinder it too much, Renault can already count on a historical order portfolio representing three months of sales.
“The global market will be at least stable this year compared to 2021, but demand is on the rise,” added Fabrice Cambolive.
(Gilles Guillaume, edited by Blandine Hénault)