Wednesday 18 October 2017

Half of Renault vehicles to be electric or hybrid by 2022, pledges car chief

Renault Group chief executive Carlos Ghosn (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Renault Group chief executive Carlos Ghosn (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

French car giant Renault has said half of its models will be electric or hybrid by 2022 and it is investing heavily in "robo-vehicles" with increasing degrees of autonomy.

A strategic plan released on Friday aims to boost Renault annual revenues to 70 billion euros (£62.4 billion) by 2022 from 51 billion euros (£45.4 billion) last year, in part through an effort to double sales outside its traditional markets in Europe - especially Russia and China.

The plans reflect the vision laid out last month by the Renault Nissan Mitsubishi alliance, the world's leading car-maker by sales. Many of Renault's new aims depend on saving money through sharing platforms and development with Nissan and Mitsubishi.

Chief executive Carlos Ghosn said Renault is aiming to sell more than five million vehicles annually by 2022, up from 3.2 last year.

As regulators crack down on emissions from combustion engines and as drivers seek cars that can do more by themselves, Mr Ghosn wants to position Renault as a major player in mass-market electric and driverless cars.

"We are confident we can turn upcoming ... challenges into significant business opportunities for Renault," he said.

The company pledges to offer eight purely electric vehicle models and 12 hybrid models by 2022, compared with its 19 diesel or petrol models sold worldwide, he added.

The announcements come as the world's major car-makers are rethinking their strategies to profit from pivotal changes in the industry: autonomous cars, connected cars that share data, car-sharing where people do not own a vehicle but order one by app, and low-emissions vehicles demanded by the European Union to fight climate change and by China, where many cities are fighting rampant pollution.

Renault is aiming to produce two million cars per year outside Europe compared with 750,000 cars in 2016, with a heavy push in Russia.

Overall, Mr Ghosn said Renault would retrain 13,000 people over the next five years to adapt to changing markets.

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