Renault Group says ‘No turning back’ after bumper 2022 sales

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Renault Group recorded an all-time high operating margin per vehicle during 2022.

There will be “no turning back” for the Renault Group, CEO Luca de Meo has said, as the firm set a new record for operating margin (profit) per vehicle during 2022.

It generated €46.4 billion (AUD$72 billion) in revenue during 2022, an 11.4 per cent improvement on the previous year.

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Its operating margin stood at €2.6 billion (AUD$4bn), up €1.4bn (AUD$2.17bn) year on year.

Such success came despite a €2.3bn (AUD$3.6bn) loss from the sale of Renault’s Russian operations, including a 67.69 per cent stake in Avtovaz.

De Meo said: “2022 has more than kept its promises. With results above our initial objectives and market expectations, we completed the ‘Resurrection’ phase [of the Renaulution strategy] three years ahead of schedule.

“This performance reflects the energy and hard work of the Renault Group’s teams even as we have faced strong headwinds related to the disposal of our operations in Russia, the semiconductor crisis and cost inflation.

“Renault Group’s fundamentals have been thoroughly cleaned up and there will be no turning back.”

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The firm cited a strong product mix, bolstered by new model launches – namely the Dacia Jogger, Renault Arkana and Renault Mégane E-Tech Electric – as a factor in its success.

The Megane recorded 33,000 sales across Europe, while the Jogger took 57,000 and the Arkana 86,000.

Sports car brand Alpine also set a new all-time high for sales, with 3546 units of the A110 coupé leaving showrooms.

Such demand means that the Renault Group’s order books are currently the largest they have ever been.

The group also made progress with electrification: Renault’s E-Tech hybrid and electric models comprised 39 per cent of its overall sales in Europe, rising to 65 per cent for the Arkana crossover.

The Mégane E-Tech Electric, which launched last summer, became France’s best-selling EV during the second half of the year.

In light of its successful year, the Renault Group is targeting further growth to its operating margin in 2023, from 5.6 per cent this year to 6 per cent. It also aims to keep its automotive operational free cash flow above €2bn (AUD$3.1bn), having boosted it to €2.1bn (AUD$3.25bn) this year.

The firm will also restructure its partnership with Nissan over the coming year, reducing its stake in the Japanese manufacturer from 43 per cent to 15 per cent. In turn, Nissan will invest up to 15 per cent in Renault’s electrification division, Ampere. Alliance partner Mitsubishi is also considering an investment in the arm, Renault said in its results presentation.

Any potential inital public offering for Ampere would take place during the second half of 2023 at the earliest, Renault added.

The Alliance will also begin work on new value-creating projects in Europe, India and Latin America. Renault and Nissan announced this week that they will invest $600 million (AUD$872m) in India to launch six new models (three per brand) in the region.

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