According to Fabrice Cambolive, Director of Sales and Operations of the Renault brand, the French manufacturer “would sell more cars in 2022 if it could produce more”. The refrain is becoming known. Because, like its rivals, Renault continues to suffer from the consequences of yo-yo supply and congestion. “Our 9.4% drop in worldwide registrations is explained by our production and delivery capabilities, which remain limited,” Fabrice Cambolive soberly comments, declining to estimate how many cars could be produced if component electronics weren’t so rare.
The exasperated Sales Director is content to repeat that the total of 1,466,729 units (including 832,605 in Europe and 634,124 internationally) is “all Renault can produce and ship in 2022”. In 2018, the brand managed to sell 3.88 million cars worldwide. Even if we set aside about 15% of lost volumes due to the suspension of operations in Russia, this is the fourth straight year of decline for the Renault brand (to distinguish it from the Group of the same name, which combines Renault, Alpine, Dacia and brands). mobilize).
Lack of components: touchscreens, in particular, Renault could not keep up with demand
Fortunately for the Renault brand, the character and variety of its models clearly match customer requirements. Especially the share of individuals, whose share continues to grow at the expense of companies: + 8% worldwide and about 10% in France. All the better because individuals pay more on average than companies that buy their cars on consignment.
Read alsoRenault’s strategy is paying off: its turnover is increasing
Renault won’t say what the average transaction price is for its cars, but it’s rising. This is the result not only of general price inflation (noted by all manufacturers), but also of customers switching to electrified models (hybrid and electric). As an immediate result of this price increase, “the person buying the cheapest Renault is shifting to Dacia, and the customer buying the cheapest Dacia is moving to second-hand,” notes Clément Dupont-Roc, the company’s Strategy Director. C-Ways firm.
When asked about this increase, Fabrice Cambolive is content to emphasize the advantages of Renault’s price discipline. It helps improve the residual value of the manufacturer’s vehicles by applying lower discounts and reducing the share of tactical sales (short-term rental companies, demo cars and zero-mile pre-owned cars). It is an important information, because on the basis of this index, the monthly payments of leasing formulas, which are becoming increasingly popular by individuals, are calculated (long-term lease and lease with the option of purchase).
Renault sells more cars in the more profitable C segment without giving up the B segment
The increase in the operating price is also the result of the systematic implementation of the three axes included in the Renaulution plan in January 2021 by Luca de Meo. This roadmap plans to increase Renault’s position in the retail market; Restore the C segment (Megane and Austral segment, unlike Clio and Captur’s B segment); to be a major player in hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric cars (what Renault calls “electrified cars”). However, satisfaction with these three goals is in order: “From 30% electrified in 2021, the Renault brand will rise to 39% at the end of 2022, which is still marked by supply constraints”, emphasizes Fabrice Cambolive.
Read alsoIn Europe, the history of Renault is reduced to a minimum
In the C segment, too, the target is considered to have been achieved after “Renault’s sales increased by 21% with more than 200,000 registrations”. Launched in 2021, the success of the Arkana model is confirmed in 2022, its first full marketing year, with “a doubling of sales, over 80,000 registrations”.
Fabrice Cambolive, faced with concessions to be made on assembly lines cut from electronic components as a rule, admits that he “preferred to release electrified models”. This contributes to a 12% increase in their volumes in 2022 (+9% in volume in the mix of models produced). Finally, the Renault brand has a very good rating in Europe: Renault ranks third in the electric car market (ahead of Volkswagen and Tesla) and second in the hybrid car market (after Toyota).
Plug-in hybrids are being abandoned in favor of hybrids and electrics
That last position should improve with the arrival of the C-segment SUV Austral in 2023, which will enter its first full marketing year. However, early orders indicate strong customer appetite for the two most fuel-efficient “full hybrid” engines on the market.
Overall, moreover, Renault is ahead of the European trend of slowing sales of plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) in favor of plug-in hybrids (full hybrid HEVs) in the sector. The latter scores 21 points on Renault in Europe in 2022, when sales of plug-in hybrids will decline by 3%. And this is “despite the maintenance of public subsidies in certain markets”, reports Fabrice Cambolive.
In the French market alone, the trend is more noticeable: Renault’s plug-in hybrids fell by 10.2%. Fabrice Cambolive explains it easily: “The customer – especially in business – notices that the consumption in real use does not meet his expectations: as a result, he switches to a hybrid.” Renault claims it will be easily satisfied, as its catalog offers “all the energies to choose from” to meet customers’ needs.
For 2023, Fabrice Cambolive is cautiously optimistic. According to him, the situation on the supply-transport front is improving: “We have a little more stock and the order portfolio is stabilizing.” One can only hope to see the beginning of a reduction in delivery times. However, Renault is out of the question of giving up the slightest relaxation in pricing discipline that would allow it to return to profitability in 2021.