The Covid has taken its toll on the French group, with sales down 21.3% compared to 2019.
In 2020, Renault suffered. With the Covid-19 epidemic and the very strict containment of March, it is not really a surprise: all manufacturers saw their sales drop. But the French group suffered last year from spectacular losses : the net result is very largely in deficit, with 8 billion euros erased during the year. Most of this economic dive occurred in the first half of 2020, as losses were “only” 666 million in the second half of the year.
The cause is simple: the group as a whole sold 21.3% fewer cars than in 2019. The turnover therefore fell by 21.7%, to 43.5 billion euros. Another highlight: Nissan’s contribution at the Alliance fell by almost 5 billion euros, after a terrible year 2020 for the Japanese manufacturer.
Savings on track
However, all is not to throw on this 2020 financial year for the Renault group. If the first semester was, as for many, a shipwreck, the second semester gives hope for a recovery rhombus. Upon his appointment at the head of the group, Luca de Meo announced a savings plan of 2 billion euros. This target has already been reached at 60% in 2020, against a forecast of only 30%, resulting in an operating margin of 3.5% in the second half (compared to -0.8% in the first half). This is in part due to a slight rise in range of the brand in 2020: prices increased by 3.9 points, thanks to “a more ambitious pricing policy” and very good results from the Zoe, more expensive than a Clio.
This last figure is important, since the group aims for an operating margin “greater than 3%” by 2023. If the Diamond manages to stabilize its results for the second half of 2020, it could therefore achieve its objectives faster than expected. However, Luca de Meo warns, 2021 will be difficult because of “uncertainties related to health crises and the supply of electronic components”. Renault recently had to reduce the speed of its Sandouville plant because of this famous flea shortage, which affects the entire automotive industry.
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