How and why Renault wants to turn Spain into its hub for hybrid SUVs
Facing challenges galore in Covid-19 pandemic times, Renault has set its sights on rolling out new hybrid SUVs and Spain is where the change in fortunes could well be scripted in and from.
Renault's plant in Spain's Valladolid is where the French car maker plans to stage a revival of fortunes from and it could become the new hub for its foray into the future where conventional vehicles make way for hybrid SUVs.
It is amply clear why Renault is focusing on both hybrid as well as SUVs. Recent times have seen a preference for bigger vehicles with an SUV body type and hybridization is also fast catching up with conventional cars in terms of demand generation.
Here are, therefore, the key points about how and why Renault is looking at Spain to come out all guns firing:
Renault had a rough 2020 with record annual losses and falling car sales due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But while the impact of the pandemic was severe, the car maker is now eyeing Spain to become its major hub for SUVs while its home bases in France propel towards electric vehicles and delivery vans.
CEO Luca de Meo is determined to jump on the preference for SUVs to return to pre-pandemic sales and earnings' levels. Add hybrids to the mix and it could be a potent proposition. "Hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles will have a 35% market share in Spain in 2025," he recently said.
Renault reportedly wants to manufacture two SUV models at its Valladolid plant, in addition to two new engines. Its facility in Palencia will manufacture three new vehicles while the factory in Seville will be home to new gearboxes.
It has informed that the facility will generate 1,000 new jobs through 2024.
Renault has plans of driving in as many as 24 new models by around 2025. Of these, 10 are expected to be fully battery powered and around 12 would be products in the large-vehicle segments.
The emphasis is on catching up to some of its key rivals by offering more products as per buying trends and in this regard, Spain is seen as a viable market by Renault.