By Gilles Guillaume
PARIS (Reuters) – Renault said on Wednesday it will invest 3 billion euros ($3.2 billion) by 2027 to launch eight new vehicles and boost electric vehicle (EV) sales outside Europe as part of a global re-launch for the French car brand. As part of its 2021 strategy turnaround, the French carmaker has focused on the most profitable segments in Europe – EVs and compact models.
But combined with the loss of Russia – the group’s second market – following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, this has made Renault more dependent on the European market. Over the first nine months of 2023, nearly 69% of Renault’s sales were in Europe, up from 63% a year earlier.
“As our product renewal is bearing fruit in Europe, we are now going to make the brand more global and more profitable,” Renault brand CEO Fabrice Cambolive said in a statement.
Renault said that by 2027, EVs and hybrids should make up a third of sales outside Europe.
The first of Renault’s new vehicles for global markets is a small SUV derived from the Dacia Sandero, called Kardian, which was revealed Tuesday in Brazil – the Renault brand’s second-largest market after France.
The car will be launched next year in Latin America and Morocco.
Five of the new models will be either compact or larger “to position the brand in the most value-creating segments”, Renault said.
The models will be based on two new platforms. The first is a modular platform that includes the Kardian, for assembly in Latin America, Turkey, Morocco and India.
It will also be the base of a hybrid 4X4 pickup truck. Renault also presented a concept model of that vehicle, the Niagara, in Brazil.
Renault’s second global platform is for high-end vehicles produced in South Korea based on a partnership signed in 2022 between Renault and Geely.
The first Renault Korea Motors brand vehicle based on this platform will be launched in 2024.
($1 = 0.9460 euros)
(Reporting by Nick Carey and Gilles Guillaume; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)