The third chapter in Renault Group’s strategic plan Revolution: the ‘electric arm’ Ampere was launched on November 1st. Meanwhile, Renault and the Alliance partners Nissan and Mitsubishi struggle to get the ‘new’ Alliance going.
Renault Group created Ampere, “a new model of an automotive company”, aiming to become the European leader in the high-growth market of electric vehicles. The objective is democratizing EVs in Europe “with vehicles people can afford”.
‘A major step forward’
Ampere was set up with a roadmap to integrate ESG throughout its value chain – in the products and services developed by the company, but also in its processes, aiming to create a low-carbon circular economy.
Ampere operates 11 sites in France, among which four industrial facilities: the ElectriCity facility, which includes Douai, the Maubeuge and Ruitz plants, and the Cléon factory.
“The company employs over 11 000 people, 35% of whom are engineers, designing, developing, manufacturing, and marketing high-performance, safe, and sustainable vehicles under the Renault brand. Together, they pool all their efforts to bring about this large-scale transition to electric mobility,” says the press release.
“Creating a new model of a company specializing in electric vehicles and software running as of today: how better to illustrate our revolution and the boldness of our teams? Instill a sustainable corporate vision and ensure it is reflected in each and every process and product,” said Luca de Meo, new CEO of Ampere and the Renault Group.
“Build on the Group’s strengths and review how we do everything. Form a tight-knit team and work for the collective. Harness our French roots and become the leader in Europe. Assert our commitment to our customers, our planet, and those living on it,” he continued.
“The roadmap pursued by Ampere reflects the Group’s challenging ambitions, and I am extremely proud to launch this major step forward,” de Meo concluded.
New visual identity
“The Ampere logo began with the diamond shape, Renault’s iconic long-standing symbol that reflects its human and industrial past,” explains the press release. “Formed from several diamonds, it illustrates this new configuration of tight-knit, agile teams with their own area of expertise. The composition resulting from these diamonds sparks ideas of perpetual motion and ascending upward to a shared goal.”
The Ampere identity combines three primary colors – Scandium, Eigengrau, and Silicon Grey – creating a balance between technology and warmth, innovation and people, the designers of the logo claim.
On Wednesday, November 15th, a Capital Market Day will be organized by Renault Group around Ampere.
Alliance becomes LAT partnership
Meanwhile, Renault and its Alliance partners Nissan and Mitsubishi struggle to reinvent their Alliance. The former marriage, which experienced some tough times, seems to have evolved into a living apart together (LAT) relationship.
Since November 6th, the approval day by authorities of the new deal between the parties, a sort of divorce seems official. The joined IT systems of the different companies have been halted, and the common ‘libraries’ of know-how have been dismantled.
On Tuesday, all Renault employees received an internal mail indicating that “the former Alliance Renault-Nissan has stopped on November 6th. From that date, no communication with Nissan anymore. Renault, Nissan, and Mitsubishi will now act independently as competitors.”
The problem is that the three actors’ new kind of Alliance, announced in February in London, struggles to take form. A few months ago, a myriad of projects in India and Latin America were promised by Luca de Meo as proof of the new Alliance. Today, a Renault top manager adds, “Some will see the light, others won’t.”
The Alliance operating board, presided by Jean-Dominique Senard, also President of the Renault Group board, decides what will be validated. “When the Alliance gives the final go, the different teams will be allowed to work together and share their respective information,” says the manager.
The cooperation seems to be working in India, with plans for Dacia vehicles produced in a Nissan factory in Chennai. Still, in Latin America, Renault has just decided its new strategy and model range without mentioning anything about the Alliance or its partners.
And Ampere in this?
So, independence will be the new normal between the partners, as it has always been on the market. That doesn’t mean there won’t be joint projects. Nissan will produce its new small EV (the new Micra?) in Renault’s Douai plant.
Mitsubishi, which was still thinking about leaving Europe entirely a few years ago, will sell Renaults with a Mitsubishi badge in Europe (Clio and Captur) and will also have an electric car produced in a Renault factory.
Both Alliance partners have also become investors in Ampere. Still, the €600 million Nissan wants to invest and the €200 million Mitsubishi is ready to offer are a far cry from what Renault initially hoped to get.
After the ‘Ghosn debacle’ and the years of neglect or outright defiance, the Alliance has to resurrect in a new shape. Business relations resemble fundamental human relations here: there is no love where there are no continuous signs of that love. The different partners will have to work on it.