Luca De Meo: Europe can’t change idea again

Luca de Meo, President of Acea and CEO of Renault, recently shared his insights on the challenges and opportunities facing the automotive industry amidst a transition towards electric vehicles and technological innovation.

At the Geneva Motor Show, he unveiled Renault’s latest masterpiece, the Renault 5 E-Tech Electric, symbolizing the company’s commitment to innovation and sustainability. But also He answerede the Press questions, aligning against those who resist progress, and against the inconsistency of European policies.

Luca De Meo, the EU and the Automotive Industry

Three years ago, they told us that if we didn’t make 100% electric cars, we would become zombies, and now everyone is wondering if electric vehicles really work. Which society that has rejected progress has benefited from it? None. So, we shouldn’t reject progress because, in the meantime, we have invested tens of billions and we don’t want to go back. A strategy is to have ideas and share them. Then ask yourself how to implement them, who is responsible, what resources are needed. Instead, institutions say that by 2035 there will be no more combustion engines: otherwise, they’ll fine you. Meanwhile, one (Frans Timmermans, note) has gone to become the opposition leader in the Netherlands. Does that seem serious to you? Not to me. If the public authority tells us we have to zero emissions, we’ll do it, but at least don’t tell us how to do it, leave it to the engineers and technicians, they will find the solution.”

Luca De Meo, CEO of Renault Group, talking to the Italian magazine Quattroruote

One of the key points de Meo addressed was the complex relationship between the automotive industry and European Union policies.

He highlighted the shifting attitudes towards electric vehicles, noting how just a few years ago, there was immense pressure to adopt electric technology, yet now doubts linger about its efficacy. Despite this, Renault has invested significantly in electric vehicle development, recognizing the importance of embracing progress rather than resisting it.

Luca De Meo
Image: Renault

De Meo also critiqued the authoritative approach of institutions, emphasizing the need for collaboration rather than coercion in achieving emission reduction goals. He argued for a more nuanced approach that allows engineers and technicians to find solutions rather than dictating mandates from above.

In addition to policy challenges, de Meo touched upon the industrial landscape, acknowledging the traditional advantages of scale in manufacturing but noting its diminishing relevance in a rapidly evolving market. He emphasized the importance of agility and innovation over sheer size, advocating for adaptability and experimentation as crucial elements of success.

Strategic partnerships and investments in research and development are also central to de Meo’s vision for Renault’s future. By collaborating with startups and research centers, Renault aims to stay at the forefront of technological advancement, exploring new business models beyond traditional car manufacturing.

Image: Renault

Ultimately, de Meo’s strategy for success lies in prioritizing agility, innovation, and customer-centricity. By focusing on delivering innovative and high-quality products that meet customer needs, Renault has experienced unprecedented success, debunking skeptics who doubted the company’s viability without certain partnerships.

We don’t sell operating margins, we sell cars, technology. That’s what we do. We’re capable, and we’re proving it: we’ve never made so much money. Six months ago, they were saying that Renault without Nissan would die. Instead, as soon as we changed the game plan, we achieved the best result in the company’s 125-year history. I know size matters, but I think it’s much more important to produce innovative and valuable goods for the customer. When you do something that’s good for the customer, you make fewer mistakes.

Luca De Meo, CEO of Renault Group, talking to the Italian magazine Quattroruote

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