Fleet News

Renault to join premier league?

RENAULT has outlined a major plan to turn itself into a company with a prestige image that rivals marques such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

A rise in car quality, service and profit is planned by chief executive Carlos Ghosn, famous for his turnaround of Japanese carmaker Nissan.

Ghosn outlined ‘Renault Commitment 2009’, a growth plan that the Brazilian hopes will make the French manufacturer the most profitable European volume car company.

A Renault spokesman said the most relevant promise for fleets was a commitment to reduce CO2 emissions.

He said Ghosn planned to put Renault in the top three marques for emission reduction by 2008, selling a million vehicles with an output below 140g/km. He said: ‘Of those, one third will be below 130g/km.’

Ghosn also wants to make the next big fleet car, the new Laguna, a vehicle that comes in the top three for quality of product and quality of service.

The spokesman added: ‘We want to expand our range in a big way over the next three years, offering fleet drivers a much larger range of cars to choose from.

‘We intend to launch 26 cars in the next four years, but we’re unlikely to see many new products this year.’

Also on the cards is a Renault scheme to join the echelons of ‘luxury’ cars. This will not stretch as far as a Maybach or S-class rival, but more something to compete with the BMW 5-series and Mercedes-Benz E-class.

The spokesman continued: ‘I would expect fleets to be among those targeted. We’re pursuing profitable growth and profitable sales. We’re not looking for volume at any cost. We want to be profitable and if that brings volume at the same time that’s all well and good.’

Ghosn wants to see an operating profit margin of 6% in 2009, selling an additional 800,000 units compared to 2005.

He said: ‘With a clear vision, and prioritised, precise and measurable objectives, I am convinced that Renault will become, in the framework of the alliance , a great company with sustainable high performance in the global automotive industry.’

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