PARIS -- The third phase of Renault Group CEO Luca de Meo’s plan to revive the once-ailing French automaker kicked off on Tuesday with a sweeping reorganization that will turn Renault into a "next generation automotive company."
Among the highlights: the spinoff of Renault’s electric car business as a publicly listed company, moving internal-combustion drivetrain activities to a joint venture with China’s Geely, and a pumped-up role for Alpine, the sports-car and racing brand.
De Meo, a former head of VW’s Seat brand, took the reins at Renault in July 2020, just as the company posted a stunning loss of 7.29 billion euros in the first half of the year. But Renault’s troubles dated to November 2018 with the arrest of Renault-Nissan Alliance Chairman Carlos Ghosn in Japan. The arrest, on charges of failing to report deferred compensation, exposed deep rifts between the partners and led to a near-complete management turnover at Renault at a time when other automakers were recording record sales in Europe.
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De Meo and his team have stabilized Renault’s finances under his Renaulution plan launched in January 2021 and an earlier cost-cutting measures (the "Resurrection" phase), and overhauled brand lineups to focus on the more profitable compact segment and cut back on factory capacity (the "Renovation" phase).