Despite its slight shortcomings in terms of autonomy, the new Renault Mégane eTech is a hit in the ranking of best sellers in France. Since launching last May, 25,000 orders have been received, with 75% being for the high-end versions, which is very good for margin. However, as the car has only just come onto the market, these figures are largely influenced by dealer orders. They probably explain why Renault outperformed in France in July: in a market down 7.06%, the diamond was up 14.45% or 15,149 total sales and a 14.09% market penetration. From January to July, the manufacturer lost 14.15% (-15.31%) with 142,167 cars registered, in line with the market.
On the other hand, if the European market collapses by 14% in the first half of 2022, Renault collapses by 20.8% (347,690 sales), which remains less severe than the unscrewing of VW, Peugeot, Fiat or even Citroën.
Renault has good stats in its range, like the Arkana. Launched in 2020, this SUV has already sold more than 100,000 units (60% E-Tech), including 18,168 in France from January to July 2022. Very good values, as it is a kind of niche vehicle as a coupe. Nevertheless, the Peugeot 3008 remains in front.
Another model with wind in its sails, the Captur, which exceptionally beats the Peugeot 2008 with 29,733 registrations over 6 months in 2022 and ranks fifth on the French market. In the second we find the Clio, which does not manage to take over the Peugeot 208, far from it: with 37,828 sales, the Sochaux precedes it with almost 15,000.
To find other Renaults you have to delve at number 13 to find the Twingo with its 13,517 sales, at number 17 where we find the Mégane (11,591 sales) and at number 25 where the Zoé (9,077 sales) can be found. Aging models, but fewer than the Kadjar, Grand Scenic and Koleos, which no longer feature in the French top 30. So the ex-Régie has their hands full reviving their range and is eagerly awaiting the launch of Austral, which will replace Kadjar.
In general, Renault can only count on three economically efficient models, the Clio, the Captur and the Arkana, with the Mégane E-Tech still having to prove itself, although it seems to be off to a good start. Once an electric pioneer, the French brand is now largely outdated in this area and has to work hard to catch up with the competition. It cannot rely on the originality of its design, nor on innovative concepts to make a difference, from which it had benefited enormously in the ’90s. Finally, the alliance with Nissan seems to have weakened, undermining the current technical synergies significantly.
Despite everything, the Renault Group company, which includes Renault, Dacia and Alpine, is maintaining its sales compared to the first half of 2021 (21.1 billion euros). This is despite a global sales decline of 11.9%, partly due to the closure of the Russian operation. Of course, this last point is not crucial since the French group, like others, has increased its operating margin.
It now stands at 988 million euros or 4.7% of sales, up 556 million and 2.6 points compared to the first six months of 2022. The group estimates that the semiconductor crisis will cost it 300,000 sales in 2022. It remains to be seen whether it will be able to regain them once the situation returns to normal, probably in 2023, knowing that its range of electric models will remain insufficient.