Luca de Meo, managing director of Renault SA, said the adoption of the new Megane E-Tech EV model shows that the French manufacturer is on the right track with its turnaround at a time of heightened challenges for the automotive industry.
Renault has sold 25,000 Mégane E-Tech vehicles in three months, the 55-year-old CEO told Journal du Dimanche in an interview published in its Sunday edition. Total new car registrations have fallen this year in France.
“The democratization of the electric car will take place in Europe and involves products at affordable prices,” de Meo told the newspaper. Still, costs are rising for the materials needed for electric vehicle batteries and that means “the equation is tough,” he said.
The Megane E-Tech model, which is widely advertised in French media, was the country’s best-selling electric vehicle in July, according to data from Avere-France.
Renault is counting on a series of new electric vehicle models to take on bigger rivals such as Volkswagen AG and Stellantis NV, as European automakers battle a shortage of semiconductors and rising inflation that could impact the ability of consumers to spend money on more expensive electric vehicles.
Renault raised its outlook for 2022 on July 29 after posting a net loss in the first half.
“Our performance in the first half and our forecast for the full year should calm those who said that Renault could not survive,” de Meo told JDD.
“Renault’s restructuring and strong execution are paying off,” Bernstein & Co. analyst Daniel Roeska wrote in a note to clients Aug. 4. Still, “the tides could turn in 2023 as the automaker faces multiple headwinds,” he said.
De Meo has pledged to give more details on his plan to separate Renault’s electric and thermal activities in the fall.
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