Renault unveils big overhaul in drive to boost profits

French carmaker Renault on Tuesday announced a big overhaul to split its operations into five businesses, deepen ties with China’s Geely and list its electric vehicle unit on the market from next year.

Here are the main planks and financial targets unveiled in a strategy presentation to investors.

FIVE BUSINESSES:

Renault will become an industrial holding gathering five different businesses:

  • Ampere, the electric vehicle unit
  • Power, housing combustion- and hybrid-engine assets
  • Alpine, the sports-car brand
  • Mobilize, built around a financial services company for new mobility, energy and data-based services
  • The Future Is Neutral, focusing on recycling

THE EV BUSINESS

For Ampere, Renault plans an IPO in Paris in the second half of 2023 at the earliest, subject to market conditions, with Renault keeping a “strong majority” and the support of potential strategic cornerstone investors including Qualcomm Technologies.

Nissan, Renault’s long-standing Japanese partner, is expected to take a stake in this business, with negotiations ongoing. Ampere is expected to produce 1 million vehicles for the Renault brand by 2031.

JOINT-VENTURE WITH GEELY
Renault also announced a 50-50 joint venture with China’s Geely to focus on gasoline engines and hybrid technology. The venture will aim to maximise sales by supplying both companies’ brands as well as other automakers.

FINANCIAL TARGETS
Renault is targeting EBIT margins above 8% in 2025 and above 10% by 2030 from around 5% in 2022; and free cashflow above 2 billion euros per year from 2023-2025 from 1.5 billion euros in 2022, rising to above 3 billion euros per year between 2026 and 2030.

The company is also planning to restore dividends from 2023 after a three year hiatus, at up to 35% of group net income, and aims to grow employees’ shareholding to 10% by 2030.

THE ALLIANCE WITH NISSAN
Renault and Nissan are also in talks about the future of their alliance.

Nissan has long bristled over the unequal ownership structure, with Renault owning 43% of Nissan and the Japanese automaker holding only a 15% non-voting stake in Renault.

People with knowledge of the talks have said the two sides have been discussing a reduction in Renault’s stake, potentially to 15%, and the terms under which that could happen.

But the talks have been dragging on, amid Japanese reservations about sharing technology with others, including a Chinese rival like Geely, sources have said.