Speaker: Pierre-Alain De Smedt
Title: Executive vice president, Renault
Theme: Speed is the essence of a successful alliance
Speed has become a mantra inside Renault since the launch of the alliance with Nissan last year.
Pierre-Alain De Smedt, Renault's executive vice president for engineering, manufacturing and purchasing, emphasized the importance of moving fast at the Automotive News Europe Congress.
'Our ambition is to double Renault output, bringing it to 4 million units a year by 2010,' he said.
A year after the Nissan tie-up, 'we've been fast in putting in place the basis of a strong, dynamic and successful alliance,' De Smedt said.
Nissan had reported losses in eight out of nine years, said De Smedt.
'Many questions arose,' he said. 'What will be the understanding between these two companies? How will synergies materialize? Can they act fast enough? How can Renault succeed with its strategy of profitable growth?
'Well, we are on track,' said De Smedt. 'Renault is profitable, the alliance is doing well and accelerating quickly. Nissan also is on track with its revival plan and is committed to being profitable this year.'
He said the return to profitability will be helped by the restructuring of Renault's and Nissan's distribution in Europe, and a joint manufacturing and sales strategy in Mexico and South America's Mercosur trading region.
De Smedt said synergies should account for savings of A3 billion by 2005 Ð or 3.2 percent of Renault's and Nissan's combined sales.