During the presentation of the Renaulution plan, Luca de Meo communicated little information on the group’s ambitions in terms of autonomous cars. A choice which can be explained both by the manufacturer’s particular situation, but also by the Alliance’s new strategy.
Once on everyone’s lips, the autonomous car seems to have taken a back seat among a large number of manufacturers, now focused on the electrification of their ranges. Renault is no exception to the rule and communicated only meager information when presenting its Renaulution recovery plan.
Other priority actions
For Luca de Meo, the first objective remains to “survive the storm” and to reorganize its product offer by targeting models with high added value. A list of priorities that the autonomous car is clearly not part of.
Between regulatory issues and the major questions related to the acceptance of technology by the general public, the autonomous car will take a few more years before becoming more democratic. At least on the European market where the French group concentrates its activities. Luca de Meo has understood this and prefers to focus on the levers that will make it possible to get out of the crisis as soon as possible. A pragmatic plan that is not unlike the one presented in 2016 by PSA. At the time on the verge of bankruptcy, Renault’s rival had also chosen to prioritize actions likely to generate cash quickly.
Nissan in action
Beyond Renault’s very specific situation, positioning is also justified by the Alliance’s new strategy.
To stop moving forward in scattered order, each brand now has very specific areas of expertise. Announced last May, the Alliance’s strategic plan defines the roles of each. On the autonomous car, Nissan is responsible for developing and testing the solutions that will then be deployed across all Alliance brands.
” For us, it is not justified to be a leader in these markets (ADAS and autonomous car Editor’s note) ”, justified Luca de Meo. “On the other hand, we will quickly adopt these technologies by taking advantage of Nissan’s push “. Renault believes that the democratization of the autonomous car will be faster in Asia than in Europe. Hence the Alliance’s choice to entrust the subject to Nissan.
Connectivity in the foreground
While autonomous driving is not a priority, connected features are not. These now weigh heavily in the strategy of the manufacturer.
” Our vehicles will get better every day the more you drive them », Promises Luca de Meo. Current currency at Tesla, remote updates will be gradually deployed on all Renault vehicles.
Luca de Meo also promises a digital revolution with the introduction of My Link. This new My Link infotainment system is scheduled for 2022. It will be based on Google technology.
” We will be the first to integrate these services into mass market vehicles. With Google Maps, navigation will be personalized according to users’ recent destinations », Assures the leader. For electric vehicle users, “enhanced functionality” is announced. Within the Renault range, the electric Megane will be the first to integrate the system.