The Saudi oil giant Saudi Aramco soon in the capital of Renault? And more specifically the thermal and hybrid engine entity, one of the two with the electric activities, which should see the light of day with the management’s plan to split the group? This is what our colleagues from Le Monde indicated on Thursday, stating that Aramco could work “on post-oil and synthetic fuels”. According to Reuters, this thermal engine entity could also include the Chinese car manufacturer Geely Automobile Holdings, owner of the Swedish Volvo, and which entered the capital of the South Korean subsidiary of Renault in May to the tune of 34%.
“Horse” and “Ampere”
This “thermal” entity is called “Horse” and is intended to supply the entire automotive industry. The “electrical” activity will respond to the name of “Ampere”. If the State shareholder would be a “reference” shareholder but a minority in the historic activity, it would on the other hand control the “Ampère” entity, which would oversee the production of electric propulsion vehicles, promised to develop strongly in Europe, with the decision by Brussels to ban sales of new thermal cars from 2035.
The CGT denounces a dismantling
The CGT immediately stepped up to the plate, denouncing a “dismantling” of Renault and calling on the State, a 15% shareholder in Renault.
“This strategy is disastrous, both in terms of research and development and industrially, not only for Renault but also for the entire automotive industry in France,” warned the CGT on Thursday.
The union “opposes the dismantling of the company. The Renault group must remain a coherent company which holds all the trades of a car manufacturer, whether thermal, hybrid and electric, ”he pleaded in a press release. The CGT thus called on the government to “put an end to the abandonment of its industry, and firmly oppose any loss of autonomy and independence of the manufacturer”.
Contacted by AFP, Renault management did not wish to speak on Thursday. Managing Director Luca de Meo said in May that this dossier for the separation of its thermal and electrical activities, “in order to strengthen efficiency and operational performance”, was progressing “very well”.
In detail, the project aims to house the Cléon plant and the Electricity industrial campus (in Hauts-de-France) in the “Ampère” entity, which will respectively manufacture electric motors and electric cars. This structure will also integrate the software part of the group (Renault Software Lab), a sector considered strategic in the new automotive value chain of tomorrow. It will have its headquarters in France and will employ 10,000 employees among the 120,000 that make up the group. As a reminder, Renault is aiming for 100% of its sales in Europe to be pure electric by 2030.
The other subsidiary, “Horse”, will also have 10,000 employees but will be based abroad. This is to install all the mechanical activities that constitute the traction chain (the powertrain in the jargon). For Luca de Meo, Managing Director of Renault, this subsidiary has the ambition to become a world champion of “powertrain” surfing on the hybridization of heat engines in particular. The mechanical factories that will be integrated into this new structure will manufacture engines and gearboxes and are, for the most part, established today abroad.
IPO of the electrical subsidiary
Renault assured in the spring that the group would keep control of these two structures. The “electric” entity could nevertheless be listed on the stock market in the second half of 2023 in order to make the most of the market appetite for “pure players” in the electric car. The subsidiary dedicated to the traction chain is not intended to go public.