Renault (EPA:RNO)

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Renault S.A. (Euronext: RNO) is a French automaker and producer of cars and vans. Together with Nissan the companies form the third largest automaker in the world. [1] Furthermore, The alliance is one of the leaders in electric car development among the major automakers. [2]

Business Overview

Renault's headquarters are in Boulogne-Billancourt. The company owns the Romanian automaker Automobile Dacia as well as the Korean automaker Renault Samsung Motors. Furthermore, Renault owns subsidiaries RCI Banque and Motrio. The current CEO of the company is Carlos Ghosn.

Formula 1

The company is also known for its role in motor sport, and its success over the years in rallying and Formula 1. Renault became involved with the motor sport over 30 years ago and since the start has aimed at pushing the limits of the sport and technology as far as possible. For the 2011 season, the Renault Sport F1 division supplies three teams which equates to 25% of the grid. [3] Even though the company has been involved in the past with the actual racing aspect of the event, it is now going back to its main role as an engine provide. Moreover, the company has announced that they will also focus on the development of more environment-friendly powertrains that can be directly applied to mass production vehicles with the outstanding quality and reliability that is usually associated with Renault. [4]

Renault-Nissan Alliance

The Renault-Nissan alliance was established in March 1999 and has proven to be a success over the years. It was the first industrial and commercial partnership of its kind involving a French and a Japanese company. The two global companies are linked by cross-shareholdings and form the third largest automaker in the world based on sales for 2008. Moreover, they possess 9% of global market share by volume with presence in the USA, Japan, Europe, China, India, and Russia. [5]

The alliance implements a strategy of profitable growth with the aim to keep its position among the top three automakers by providing exceptional quality and value of products and services in each region and market segment, explore key technologies in engines, electronics and the environment, and generate a significant operating profit. The alliance has managed to be successful while preserving the corporate culture and identity of each brand. [6]

Financial Metrics

Division Q1 2010 Q1 2011 Change 2010/2011
Automobile 8,642 9,965 +15.3%
Sales financing 430 466 +8.4%
Total revenues 9,072 10,431 +15%

Renault Group revenues totaled €10,431 million in the first quarter 2011, up 15% on the same period in 2010. The Group posted record sales in the first quarter, selling 692,607 units, or 5.8% more than in the first quarter of 2010, on the back of growth in markets outside Europe, particularly Brazil, Turkey and Russia.

Looking into the company, it can be seen that their biggest strength is that they are not a regular automaker; the unique thing about the company is that it is involved in the motor sport and Formula 1 which distinguishes it from competitor Peugeot. However, the small size of the company proves to be a weakness when it comes to competition with giants GM and Volkswagen. However, this is an opportunity for the company, because it shows the markets where it can grow abroad (it is a global company but still can expand the line to the USA). Moreover, a great opportunity is involvement in the production with electric cars. With gas prices on the rise, consumers are now more than ever looking into different ways to save money on fuel. Alternative methods are expected and the companies that manage to provide the first efficient electric cars will easily become leaders in the competition. Lastly, the threats for the company come from the fact that the company needs to keep on top of industry trends and consumer needs and wants. Providing the consumer with the automobile they are looking for is key to success in the industry.

Business Segments and Product Portfolio

Innovation

Innovation is a core Renault strategy. Each vehicle it designs features the latest in styling, comfort and technology. Renault’s innovation policy has also made it a standard-setter on safety and the environment. It is based on four fields of research: environment, safety, comfort and dynamic performance [7] Furthermore, to better meet the needs of its customers, Renault has a network of engineering and design centers across the world. These centers develop new models inspired by local trends.

Design

Renault’s design world, essential to the brand’s success, is most fully expressed in concept cars and show cars. Concept cars are inspired by the latest trends and embody the imaginary of future vehicles. Show cars, on the other hand, forecast what the next mass-produced vehicles will be. Renault's design strategy embodies the idea of a life-cycle, thus reflecting the brand's human dimension.

A Global Company

Renault in Brazil Renault is consolidating its position as a key player in Brazil, with an ultra-modern industrial complex, a design center and a range of highly successful models. The Brazilian market has enjoyed exceptional growth in recent years (+28.8% in 2007). [8] The world’s leading vehicle manufacturers are present here, including Chrysler, Honda, Renault, Toyota, PSA, Fiat and Mercedes. Despite the competition, Renault doubled its sales in Brazil between 2007 and 2008, making it the fifth most popular car maker.

Renault in Romania Renault is enjoying huge international success with Logan, the flagship vehicle of its Romanian subsidiary, Dacia. Romania is now a key component in the Group’s strategy of international expansion. After modernizing Dacia’s historic plant in Pitesti, Renault set up a design centre and an engineering centre, both of which are complete entities. Dacia Duster, launched in 2010, is the first vehicle produced by these centers.

Renault in Russia Renault has been present in Russia since the early 20th century. In 1998, it expanded the sales base for its vehicles in this country by setting up Avtoframos. Ten years later, Renault took a stake in AvtoVAZ, owner of Lada, the country’s most popular brand. The aim is to keep pace with Russia’s strongly growing automotive market, which is on the way to becoming Europe’s biggest.

Russia has seen continuous growth since 2000, making it a highly attractive destination for private foreign capital. The automotive sector is one of the first to reap the benefits of this investment. After the financial crisis of 2009, all the signs pointed to a strong recovery in the automotive market. Between April 2009 and May 2010, sales of new vehicles grew by 20%, mainly on the back of government scrappage bonuses. Between January and May 2010, during this period of strong growth, Renault increased its market share by 14% (putting it to 5.3%). [9] Russia is poised to become Europe’s biggest market, ahead of Germany. This explains why vehicle manufacturers are rushing to establish bases here. A strategic choice made by Renault in 1998. Renault, Nissan and their Russian partner AvtoVaz are aiming for 40% of the market in 2015 – compared to 30% in 2009.[10]

Renault in Turkey Renault has been present in Turkey for four decades through its subsidiary Oyak-Renault. No. 1 on the car market, Renault is considered virtually as a “national” brand. Turkey has a particularly dynamic automotive sector, with more than 15 vehicle manufacturers (including Renault, Toyota, Honda and Fiat Tofas), almost 1,000 parts suppliers, and annual output of more than one million vehicles. At present, more than three-quarters of output is exported, but the automotive industry could soon focus more closely on its domestic market. Turkey is experiencing strong growth (5% in 2007) and household ownership for cars is relatively low at just 214 vehicles per 1,000 people [11].

Renault in India Renault presence in India started in 2005. Since then, it has expanded at speed: a joint venture with Bajaj Auto, a logistics platform in Poona and a new design centre in Mumbai. In 2010, the Group strengthens its presence more than ever. India is the world’s 12th biggest economic power. Between 2005 and 2007 it posted steady economic growth of over 9%, and GDP per capita has doubled in the space of ten years. The car market is growing by around 10% a year, [12] attracting the attention of many vehicle manufacturers. India’s middle classes total more than 350 million people, all of whom are potential buyers, and their numbers are continuing to grow. Suzuki/Maruti is currently No. 1 on the small car market.

Renault in South Korea The Renault group is present in South Korea through the company Renault Samsung Motors. It is Korea’s fourth biggest manufacturer and the future is looking bright. South Korea is enjoying strong economic performance, with growth of around 5% in recent years. This expansion is balanced by rising household consumption and buoyant foreign trade. South Korea is the world’s fifth biggest vehicle manufacturer with 3.8 million units produced in 2006 and total market sales of 1.26 million vehicles in 2007. [13] The market has attractive growth prospects, since household ownership figures could still increase.

Renault in Algeria Boosted by a dynamic market, Renault’s activities in Algeria keep on expanding. After nearly 90 years’ presence in the country, Renault is more than ever focused on the future. The Group’s numerous sales innovations have turned Algeria into a growth driver for the Group. Renault first set up business in Algeria in 1922, founding the Société Algérienne des Automobiles Renault (SADAR) to distribute Renault vehicles. SADAR quickly became the largest vehicle distribution business in the country. With the creation of CARAL plant (Construction des Automobiles Renault en Algérie) in 1959, Renault started producing vehicles in Algeria. While activity was discontinued at SADAR and CARAL in 1969 following nationalization, they made a huge contribution to opening the way for Renault in Algeria and favoring the transfer of skills. In 1997, 30 years after the Algerian government’s wave of nationalizations, Renault made a big step forward by setting up a real sales and marketing structure entirely dedicated to the domestic market, Renault Algérie Spa. This subsidiary, today wholly owned by the Group, has a workforce of nearly 400 and is a concrete example of Renault’s investment in Algeria.

Renault in Morocco Renault has been present in Morocco for 80 years. It is No. 1 on the Moroccan market with the Renault and Dacia brands. The Group already has a production unit in Casablanca (SOMACA) and in 2008, started work on a vast industrial complex in Tangiers. The Renault group is No. 1 on the Moroccan car market, with more than 37,000 vehicles sold in 2009. The Renault and Dacia brands rank first and second, with market share of 16.9% and 12.2% respectively. [14] In 2007, vehicle sales in Morocco topped the 100,000 mark for the first time. The number of cars on the road is estimated at 1.5 million, with an average age of between 9 and 10. Although limited, the Moroccan automotive market is growing strongly.

Renault in South Africa At end-2008, Renault deployed a new action plan to boost its presence in South Africa. The plan involved new models (including Sandero, produced locally) and improvements in service quality. Renault South Africa is once more taking a bold, optimistic approach. The history of Renault in South Africa goes back to 1953. At that time, the 4CV was imported to South Africa by Curries Motors. Five years later, Renault Africa was set up to develop the brand on the African continent. In 1985, Renault withdrew from the South African market because of apartheid. The brand’s vehicles were then imported by Imperial Cars Imports (ICI). It was only in 2002 that Renault created a subsidiary dedicated to the South African market: Renault South Africa. This joint venture is 51% owned by Renault S.A.S. and 49% by ICI. [15]

The Product

Renault SA ceased manufacturing large goods vehicles by 2004 when it sold its truck and military divisions to Volvo in 2001 and its bus and tram business to Irisbus in 1999. Renault's agricultural division was sold to CLAAS in 2004. [16]

Renault Renault is the Group's historical, founding brand. Strongly present in Europe, the Renault brand is in a worldwide expansion. Renault has always been a vector for innovation, with the invention of the MPV (multi-purpose vehicle).

Dacia Created in 1966 and bought by Renault in 1999, Dacia is the most important auto maker in Romania. Its values are: simplicity, robustness and unbeatable value for money. A large part of its success comes from the emblematic vehicle: Logan. Dacia is also the group's vector for development in Europe and Euromed regions.

Renault-Samsung Motors Renault Samsung Motors offer new and top-of-the-range vehicles. The brand relies on ultra-modern production facilities and a high-level R&D center.

Electric Vehicles From 2008, Renault entered a number of agreements for its planned zero-emissions products, including Israel, Portugal, Denmark, the U.S. states of Tennessee and Oregon, Yokohama in Japan and the Principality of Monaco. In 2008 Renault-Nissan signed a deal to mass-produce electric cars for an initiative in Israel with Better Place, a US company developing new non-petrolium based transport infrastructure. Renault aimed to mass market 10,000 to 20,000 cars a year in Israel. [17] Renault would also develop exchangeable batteries for the project. The Renault Fluence Z.E., [18] was selected for the Israel project, being the first zero-emission vehicle with a switchable battery, with trials in 2010 undertaken with the Renault Laguna.

Renault-Nissan and the largest French electric utility, Electricite de France (EDF) signed an agreement to promote emission-free mobility in France. The partnership planned to pilot projects on battery management and charging infrastructure. Renault-Nissan also signed deals with Ireland's ESB, and in Milton Keynes as part of the UK's Plugged In Places national project.

Formula 1 Renault introduced the turbo engine to Formula One when they debuted their first car, the Renault RS01 at Silverstone in 1977 and the Renault team continued until 1986. From 1989 Renault supplied engines to the successful Williams-Renault car. Renault took over the Benetton Formula team in 2000 for the 2001 season and became Renault F1 in 2002. In 2005 and 2006 the team won the Constructors' and Drivers' titles (with Fernando Alonso). Renault powered the winning 2010 Red Bull Racing team, and entered a similar role with Group Lotus in December 2010 which ended Renault's direct role in running a F1 team for the second time. [19]

Industry and Competition

Renault competes in a few different segments of the automotive industry: Auto Manufacturing, Automotive & Transport, and Auto Lending.

Demand for automobiles is driven by consumer income and demographics. The profitability of individual companies depends on the correct assessment of repayment likelihood and effective collections activities. Large companies have an advantage in the ability to manage large portfolios of mortgage, auto, and credit card loans through sophisticated computer risk modeling. Small companies can compete effectively in the cash lending or sales finance segments, where a local or neighborhood presence is highly effective.

Furthermore, demand for auto parts is driven by new car sales, which are strongly affected by interest rates, and by the replacement market. Company profitability depends partly on the difficulty of manufacturing products and partly on demand volume, since many costs are fixed. Small companies can compete successfully by focusing on a small number of products or some highly technical ones. The structure of the industry is complex, with most smaller companies (referred to as "tier 2" and "tier 3" suppliers) selling parts to larger suppliers (referred to as "tier 1" suppliers), which in turn sell component assemblies or modules to car and truck assemblers.

Porter's Five Forces

Threat of New Entrants The average person can't come along and start manufacturing automobiles. However, if we look at what happened in the US, it was thought that the American automobile industry and the Big Three were safe. But this did not hold true when Honda Motor Co. opened its first plant in Ohio. The emergence of foreign competitors with the capital, required technologies and management skills began to undermine the market share of North American companies. Therefore, it can be concluded that even though the threat of new entrant is low, however one new entrant can change the market share spread.

Power of Suppliers The automobile supply business is quite fragmented - there are many firms. Many suppliers rely on one or two automakers to buy a majority of their products. If an automaker decided to switch suppliers, it could be devastating to the previous supplier's business. As a result, suppliers are extremely susceptible to the demands and requirements of the automobile manufacturer and hold very little power.

Power of Buyers Originally the power of the automaker was unchallenged, however, new entrants providing different better quality foreign cars changed that. The power of buyers increases with the increase in variety of automakers. On the other hand, while consumers are very price sensitive, they don't have much buying power as they never purchase huge volumes of cars.

Availability of Substitutes Substitutes in this industry refer not only to consumers buying a different model car but also the likelihood of people taking the bus, train or airplane to their destination. The higher the cost of operating a vehicle, the more likely people will seek alternative transportation options. The price of gasoline has a large effect on consumers' decisions to buy vehicles. Trucks and sport utility vehicles have higher profit margins, but they also guzzle gas compared to smaller sedans and light trucks.

Competitive Rivalry Highly competitive industries generally earn low returns because the cost of competition is high. The auto industry is considered to be an oligopoly, which helps to minimize the effects of price-based competition. The automakers understand that price-based competition does not necessarily lead to increases in the size of the marketplace; historically they have tried to avoid price-based competition, but more recently the competition has intensified - rebates, preferred financing and long-term warranties have helped to lure in customers, but they also put pressure on the profit margins for vehicle sales.

Industry Trends

Acceleration in Merger and Acquisition: As cash-strapped organizations in US and Europe were looking for “saviors” for some of their brands or subsidiaries there were strategic partnerships between automotive OEMs with contrasting strengths (like Suzuki and VW or Chrysler and Fiat) to leverage their strengths on common platforms.

Entry into new geographies: New markets like India (with 11% growth) and China (9% growth) hold strong promise. As US new car sales dipped from 15+ million vehicles in 2006 to about 8+ million vehicles by the end of 2009, there is a shift in focus to these emerging markets. Some OEMs would leverage the existing presence of their alliance partners to enable an entry strategy, like Renault’s entry into China.

Reducing time-to-market for alternate energy vehicles: Cornered by the “green revolution” most automotive OEMs are forced to look for alternate energy sources like hybrids, electric vehicles, ethanol, bio-diesel etc. Seeing the success of Toyota Prius, all automotive OEMs are planning rapid prototyping and accelerate sourcing and commercialize their alternate fuel concept vehicles. This will consequently lead to a major change in their supply chains including energy and parts suppliers, pipeline and distribution agencies, energy storage and retail agencies.

Competitors

The top competitors for Renault are the German Volkswagen, the French Peugeot, and the US General Motors.

General Motors General Motors (GM) manufactures cars and trucks, with brands such as Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC. GM also builds cars through its GM Daewoo, Opel, Vauxhall, and Holden units. Financing and insurance activities are conducted by Ally Financial (formerly known as GMAC), of which GM owns about a 10% stake. Throughout its financial woes, GM has received billions of dollars in loans from the Canadian and US governments, negotiated concessions with labor unions, and jettisoned brands. The auto giant went through a six-week bankruptcy protection in 2009; it issued an initial public offering and returned to the stock market in 2010. [20]

Peugeot Peugeot S.A. is the biggest rival of Renault to claim the top spot in the battle for auto sales in France. Peugeot makes cars and light commercial vehicles under the Peugeot and Citroën brands. France's best-selling auto brand, Peugeot is among the top manufacturers in European passenger car and commercial vehicle sales. Also part of Peugeot's automotive division are Faurecia (auto parts), GEFCO (transportation and logistics), and Banque PSA Finance (financial services for dealers and customers). Other group products include motorbikes, scooters, and light-armored vehicles. Peugeot makes most of its sales in Europe. [21]

Volkswagen With cars named for climate patterns, insects, and small mammals, Volkswagen (VW) leads the Continent as Europe's #1 carmaker. Along with Golf (Gulf Stream reference) and the New Beetle, VW's annual production of more than 6 million cars, trucks, and vans includes such models as Passat (trade wind), Jetta (jet stream), Rabbit, and Fox. VW also owns a garage full of luxury carmakers -- AUDI, Lamborghini, Bentley, and Bugatti. Other brands include SEAT (family cars, Spain) and Škoda (family cars, the Czech Republic). Late in 2009 VW acquired a 49.9% stake in Porsche for about €4 billion (almost $6 billion) as the first step in combining the two into an integrated car company. [22]

Company Name Renault [23] Volkswagen[24] General Motors [25] Peugeot [26]
Company Type Public -(Euronext Paris: RNO) Public - (German: VOW) Public Public
2010 Sales (mil.) $51,644.4 $168,134.8 $135,592.0 $69,391.2

The data in the table sows that in 2010 Renault's revenue was substantially smaller than that of its rivals. This is due to the fact that it is competing against some large automakers such as Volkswagen who has more line products and is a global company. Renault is sold outside of Europe as well but not with as much success. Both Peugeot and Renault are mainly sold in Europe with largest share in the French market. They are similar in size and much smaller than Volkswagen and GM. The two French automakers are nonetheless strong competitors in the European market. Also, Renault has been successful in Brazil, Eastern Europe, Algeria, South Africa, and Morocco to name a few places where competitor GM has had trouble penetrating.

Corporate Governance

The government of France owns 15.7 per cent of the company. The company is administered by a Board of Directors composed of 19 members (10 of them being independent). As of April 2010, members of the board of directors include: [27]

  • Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (and also Director of Alcoa, AvtoVAZ, President and Chief Executive Officer, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. an and Chairman of the Alliance Board: Renault-Nissan b.v.
  • Yves Audvard
  • Patrick Biau
  • Alexis Kohler, Director appointed by the French State
  • Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière
  • Philippe Lagayette
  • Franck Riboud
  • Luc Rousseau, Director appointed by the French State
  • Hiroto Saikawa Executive Vice President Purchasing of Nissan
  • Pascale Sourisse

Patrick Pélata is the company's Chief Operating Officer and Thierry Moulonguet is Chief Financial Officer. Louis Schweitzer was Chairman and CEO from 1992 to 2005, in succession to Raymond Lévy.

References

  1. "THE RENAULT-NISSAN ALLIANCE" Retrieved 4/20/2011
  2. "France Investigates Renault Spying Case" Retrieved 4/21/2011
  3. "2011 F1 Involvement" Retrieved 4/23/2011
  4. "2011, A New Challenge" Retrieved 4/23/2011
  5. "Key Facts of the Renault-Nissan Alliance" Retrieved 4/23/2011
  6. "Principles and Objectives" Retrieved 4/23/2011
  7. "Innovation Policy" Retrieved 4/30/2011
  8. "A promising market" Retrieved 4/30/2011
  9. "A changing economy" Retrieved 4/30/2011
  10. "A fast growing automotive market" Retrieved 4/30/2011
  11. "A flourishing automotive sector" Retrieved 4/30/2011
  12. "A strongly expanding economy" Retrieved 4/22/2011
  13. "A prosperous auto market" Retrieved 4/30/2011
  14. "No 1 on a growing market" Retrieved 4/20/2011
  15. "Almost 60 years of eventful history" Retrieved 4/20/2011
  16. "Renault International" Retrieved 4/30/2011
  17. "The electric car" Retrieved 4/20/2011
  18. "Zero Emission" Retrieved 4/20/2011
  19. "Passion and Sport" Retrieved 4/25/2011
  20. "General Motors" Retrieved 4/11/2010
  21. "Pegeot" Retrieved 4/30/2011
  22. "Volkswagen" Retrieved 4/30/2011
  23. "Renault Key Financials" Retrieved 4/30/2011
  24. "Volkswagen Key Financials" Retrieved 4/26/2011
  25. "General Motors Key Financials" Retrieved 4/26/2011
  26. "Peugeot Key Financials" Retrieved 4/30/2011
  27. "Officers and directors" Retrieved 4/22/2011
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