Unlike so many brand plans for coming years, Renault’s so-called Renaulution is designed to increase its profitability through improving efficiency and value rather than simply upping volume. It’s not just efficiency of process, either; Renault is using its various brands – such as Dacia and Alpine – as well as the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance to ensure it is offering the right cars, with the right technology, in the right markets.
This includes a significant electrification programme between now and 2025 before moving on to a focus on becoming “a tech company working with cars, making at least 20 per cent of its revenues from services, data and energy trading” by 2030 – according to Group CEO, Luca de Meo.
Renault is looking to reduce the number of cars it sells from four million units in 2019, down to 3.1 million in 2025. What’s more, it will be cutting the number of platforms and powertrain families in half – from six to three platforms, and eight to four powertrains. Two dedicated EV platforms – CMF-EV and CMF-B EV – will underpin its new EVs.
Using this new approach, Renault Group will launch 24 new models by 2024, of which half will be in the C and D segments. More excitingly, Renault is aiming to be a leader in electrification in Europe by 2025, with half of its 14 planned launches in the market being EVs. Alongside this, Renault is aiming for 35 per cent of its total European sales being hybrids. These will be from across the Group’s brands and won’t all be available in all markets – for example, the electric Dacia Spring city car won’t come to the UK, but will be available in mainland Europe. Read our review of it at the not-the-Geneva-Motor-Show.
As a final string to its bow, the company will be entering the fuel cell market through a “hydrogen joint venture” – albeit this will be in the light commercial sector rather than passenger cars.
As a bit of a teaser of what we can expect from the Renaulution plan, the brand unveiled the Renault 5 Prototype – a modern version of the iconic car first launched in 1972. Like the MINI and new Fiat 500, the Renault 5 Prototype takes the original car’s lines and brings them into the modern era, except this time it’s powered by an electric powertrain.
From almost any angle you can see the lineage. Flared wheel arches remind us of the mad Group B Turbo and Maxi Turbo rallying versions and there is even a hint of the original Clio about it when looking square-on at the front. Little ‘5’ detailing add to the fun that the designers were clearly having when they penned the car!
Of course, it was revealed to help drum up interest, but we reckon that there’s a ready and waiting market for it.
Renault is making the most of its Alpine brand, bringing Renault Sports Cars and Renault Sport Racing under the Alpine umbrella so its motor racing and performance divisions piggy-back on the Alpine name and heritage. This includes the F1 team.
For its roadgoing future, Alpine’s product plan is 100 per cent electric, and tantalising with it! It consists of a B-segment hot hatch based on the CMF-B EV platform, a C-segment sports crossover based on the CMF-EV platform and – most excitingly – an electric replacement of the A110 sports car, which will be developed alongside Lotus.
We’d imagine that the B-segment hot hatch will be either a replacement for, or complimentary of the RS-branded Clio, though it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that the Renault 5 Prototype is destined to get a performance makeover (that is assuming it makes production). With regards the A110 replacement, going into partnership with Lotus is a shrewd move; Lotus has invested big in its electric future and is already demonstrating leadership in the EV hypercar field with the Evija, not to mention with its Lotus Engineering division.
Mobilize is a new sub-brand which is designed to help it leverage its data, mobility and energy services. Renault reckons that up to a fifth of its revenue could come from Mobilize by 2030.
For us, the most interesting part of the plan is the EZ-1 Prototype – a ‘personal mobility solution’ which could be compared to the Twizzy or AMI One, which we recently tested. It’s designed for shared use with access granted via a smartphone ‘key’ and users would only pay for the time or mileage they undertake.
The EZ-1 has space for two, but at 2.3 metres long, is small enough to make a lot of sense in urban environments. A quirky feature is the battery exchange capability which, like that used by NIO in China, means ‘up time’ can be maximised by quickly swapping a spent battery for a charged one. At the end of its lifecycle, the EZ-1 is 95 per cent recyclable.