07 September 2009

Renault Production: 2008

The French like to support their car makers and Renault has been able to rely on strong home support. Some of it's export success, especially in Europe has been garnered by sharp pricing. It was number one in Western Europe between 2002 to 2004 but profits were being hurt. Recently, Renault embarked on making money before market share, sales have fallen sharply and now the brand is 5th in WE. It could soon be 6th! In 2005, Renault made 2.33 million cars/LCVs with a 3.7% share of the worldwide pie but in 2008, it had fallen to 2 million and only 3.0% share. Consider also that of late, Renault production has increasingly including rebadged Dacias (Renault's low cost Romanian brand) in Russia and other markets. Without that things would have been even worse for Renault.

Car making by country is as follows for '08:

France 36% 720,000
Spain 16% 325,000
Turkey 14% 285,000
Slovenia 10% 200,000
Brazil 6.5% 130,000
Argentina 3.7% 75,000
Russia 3.6% 73,000
Iran 2.8% 56,000
Korea 2.2% 45,000
Colombia 1.7% 34,000
UK 1.3% 26,500
Rest 2.0% 44,000

That is a good spread of car making but little presence in many markets, including the biggest two doesn't help. Renault makes interesting cars and headhunting one of Mazda's top designers may bring new and improved direction. It is benefiting from its collaboration with Nissan but there are still many segments Renault isn't a player in.

The bottom line: It's tough out there and I feel that rock bottom hasn't been reached yet for Renault.

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