Renault has to “look very, very seriously” at the future of the Alpine brand, according to the firm’s chairman – and Autocar understand that it is poised to be turned into an all-electric performance brand in the future.
The sports car marque was revived by Renault in 2017 as a new performance brand with the highly rated A110. That model and its various derivatives are built in Dieppe at a dedicated plant that was formerly home to Renault Sport.
Nissan today unveiled the long-awaited restructuring plan. Global production is being hacked by 20%, with closures of the Barcelona and Indonesia assembly plants.
Whether the e-NV200 will be assembled in another plant has not been announced. The electric van is closely related to the Renault Kangoo. Reports suggest the e-NV200 could be built at Renault’s plant in Maubeuge, France.
While there may be a shift away from pure electric Nissans in the near future, the company hopes to sell 1 million ‘electrified’ vehicles by 2023. They also hopes to return to profitability by 2023.
Shortly after the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi manufacturing alliance announced the restructuring of their cooperation, Nissan has announced its own new strategy. The concept envisages a 20 per cent cut in the manufacturer’s global production capacity. This should increase the capacity utilisation of the remaining plants to 80 per cent. In accordance with the alliance’s new orientation, Renault is taking the lead in Europe and Nissan will now derive its own vehicles from the Renault models. Europe is thus no longer a core market for the Japanese company, instead, Nissan is concentrating on North America, China and Japan.
Nissan has now also officially announced what has been suspected for weeks: that Nissan intends to close its Barcelona plant in Western Europe. The Japanese company employs between 2,800 and 3,000 people at the Spanish plant (Nissan does not exact numbers in the press release). Among other vehicles, the e-NV200 is made there. Nissan boss Makoto Uchida announced at a virtual press conference that the second European plant in Sunderland, UK, will be kept open. This is where the Leaf is produced.
From a product perspective, Nissan will focus on global core model segments including “enhanced C and D segment vehicles, electric vehicles, sports cars” as the automaker plans to introduce 12 models over the next 18 months. Nissan will expand its presence in EVs and electric-motor-driven cars, including e-Power, with more than 1 million electrified sales units a year by end of fiscal year 2023. In Japan, the company will launch two more electric vehicles and four more e-Power vehicles, therefore increasing the electrification ratio to 60 percent of sales.
Looking only at BEVs, Tesla expanded its lead, increasing its market share by 6% and more than doubling the result of #2 Renault Nissan Alliance, which has also saw its share inflate by 5%, allowing it to jump from #4 to the runner-up spot, but the Volkswagen Group is getting closer, having jumped from 6th to 3rd, and earning 6% share, to 11%, equaling Tesla in market share growth.
Hyundai-Kia is also on the rise, jumping from #7 to #4, increasing its share by 3%, running ahead of last year’s Bronze Medalist BYD, that is now #5, with 6% share, down 3%.
Hyundai Motor Group, including Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors, was the fourth-largest global manufacturer of electric vehicles (EVs) in the first quarter of 2020, according to research carried out by the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association (KAMA).
French car plants are only just starting to rev up production after the coronavirus lockdown, which hit the auto sector badly, and Macron wants to accelerate the transition to electric cars to help revive the industry.
“We need a motivational goal: make France Europe’s top producer of clean vehicles by bringing output (up) to more than one million electric and hybrid cars per year over the next five years,” Macron told a news conference.
And to help dealerships sell the 400,000 vehicles left unsold on dealer lots due to the lockdown, President Macron said the state would offer people buying a traditional cars a €3,000 bonus.
Crowning a winner in this test would be much more difficult if there weren’t such a large disparity in range and practicality between the two.
The Renault is slightly more expensive, but it’s hard to argue with its larger boot, better rear-seat access and much more practical range. The MINI is more fun to drive and has brand cachet on its side, but it’s best reserved for those who don’t need their electric car to do much more than a week’s worth of inner-city commuting or shopping on a single charge…
Note: The Mini Electric is marketed as the Mini Cooper SE in some markets.
From May 20th, a fleet of 500 100% electric Renault ZOE cars is available to Parisians on a self-service basis. The launch of this service, announced in March and suspended due to containment measures, is being carried out in accordance with the recommendations defined in the national sanitary protocol for exiting containment defined by the Ministry of Transport…
The driving program called Renault B-Modus enables single-pedal driving for the French brand for the first time. Instead of pressing the brake pedal, the so-called recuperation delay is sufficient in most cases…
“We identified there was room below Zoe but even more expectation above Zoe. People are realising that EVs are safe, enjoyable and can be taken on much longer trips than [early] EVs.”
Gilles Normand, boss of Renault’s EVs division, explains how the French firm plans to capitalise on growing demand for SUVs by launching a pair of new electric high-riders. He stresses, however, that the emphasis on aerodynamic efficiency for EV design means they will not resemble crossovers in the traditional sense, and should offer a range of up to 400 miles.
Having been on sale since 2015 and receiving the mildest of facelifts last year, the Kadjar remains one of Europe’s best-selling family SUVs. As with the new Clio and Captur, Renault isn’t expected to venture too far from the current visual approach, with gently evolved styling. However, the brand’s “interior revolution” under design boss Laurens van den Acker will continue in earnest.