Renault is on the hunt for new partners to buy its cars and components as the automaker pushes ahead on a strategic review with “nothing off the table,” reports Reuters.
The review is expected to be completed within a few months and investors are hoping that will allow Renault to turn a page on months of uncertainty after the arrest last year of Renault-Nissan alliance boss Carlos Ghosn.
All aspects of the business — including Renault’s longtime, high-profile participation in Formula One motor racing — are being examined, interim CEO Clotilde Delbos told analysts on Friday.
Renault has been trying to regain momentum after Ghosn’s November 2018 arrest in Japan, on financial misconduct charges that he denies.
Earlier this month, Renault’s alliance partner, Nissan, appointed a new CEO and days later Renault CEO Thierry Bollore — who had been appointed under Ghosn — was pushed out, to be replaced on an interim basis by Delbos, who is Renault finance director.
On the call with analysts, she said there was little prospect of sales to partners rebounding in the near future, so the company would look for new partners to sell cars and components to. She did not give details on what kind of savings Renault was seeking with Nissan.
She said the company hoped to conclude within a few months a review of its “Drive the Future” strategy — a plan that was launched in 2017 by Ghosn and which now is set to be changed as part of the alliance’s effort to put the Ghosn era behind it.
F1 motor racing, a pet project of Ghosn’s that costs Renault millions of dollars to fund each year, is among everything being looked at, though it is not being targeted, she said.
“Everything can be on the table at some point,” Delbos said.
“It is too early to mention the routes we are working on, we need to refine, we have quite a few ideas already that have been put on paper, before we can announce everything, I guess in a few months,” she said.
Renault’s third-quarter revenue fell 1.6 percent to 11.3 billion euros ($12.5 billion), weighed down by a drop in production at Nissan and industrial partner Daimler and declining demand for diesel engines which compounded the effects of a slowing global market.
Vehicle sales in the quarter fell 4.4 percent.
Renault uses its plants to build vehicles for Nissan and Daimler, and it is a specialist in making diesel engines for other automakers.
Sales of the vehicles it makes for partners have slowed, with a knock-on effect on Renault’s revenues, while demand for diesel engines in Europe has declined.
Renault owns 43.4 percent of Nissan.
A plan for Renault to merge with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles was withdrawn by FCA after Nissan and the French state, which has a 15 percent stake in Renault, failed to give their backing.
Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard said on Oct 22 that a possible deal with FCA was not on the table for now, although he did not rule out it being re-examined at some stage in the future.