What to expect from Renault, Peugeot and Citroën in Brazil?

What to expect from Renault, Peugeot and Citroën in Brazil?

Three French brands organize investment, launch and market growth

The chief executive of the Renault Group, Luca de Meo, was in Brazil last week to confirm the change of direction the French brand has been making in all markets. And here nothing will be different. Still in the administration of his predecessor Carlos Ghosn, the goal was to win 10% of the Brazilian market, which the manufacturer achieved in a short time. However, De Meo made it clear that priorities have changed. Profit will take priority and some points will be lost. He himself expects to share 5% or 6% in the next few years, when the supply of semiconductors is normal.

The Italian executive, who lived in Brazil as a child, did not announce how much he intends to invest in the Brazilian branch from 2023, when the current R$ 1.1 billion plan (2021-22) ends. But he admitted that he will focus on higher value products. Renault is expanding its Global Access platform with new models in compact (from 3.8 meters in length) and medium ranges (up to 4.5 meters in length). Even without indicating a specific location, it is likely that the Bigster SUV with seven seats, launched by Dacia, will be released in Brazil from 2024.

De Meo also admitted to introducing a cheap electric car in Brazil, which would be called Kwid E-Tech (in Europe, Dacia Spring). However, without ruling out imports or even producing a domestic hybrid with a variable engine. There are plans, according to my sources, to develop a 1-liter turbo flex engine in the São José dos Pinhais (PR) division, although he did not address this step.

What is considered to be explained is the technological evolution of the Sandero hatch and the Logan sedan, following the same strategy as in Europe. It will certainly have an impact on the price for the public. As for the close cooperation with Nissan, its partner in the alliance that includes Mitsubishi, his response was cold, unenthusiastic. “It’s a question to ask our partners.”

A day after Luca de Meo’s interview, Citroën had an answer in mind when it announced its 4 All plan (phonetically, in English, for All), in the period 2022-24. Number 4 also refers to the unprecedented 4% that it intends to win in the Brazilian market for cars and light commercial vehicles (it already had, previously, something around 2.5%). According to Vanessa Castanho, the executive responsible for the brand, the new C3 will be launched in 2022, followed by the sedan, in 2023. There will probably be a mid-size SUV successor to the C4 Cactus in 2024.

The C3 SUV, which Citroën describes as a “hatch”, will go on sale in the first quarter. It is also expected to offer the new 1 liter turbo flex engine (130 hp with ethanol) launched on the Pulse.

Peugeot also intends to grow, although without setting targets. The product was close to 3% of the market in its prime.

French companies combined (not at the same time) have already reached around 15% of participation in Brazil. Getting back to that level now looks more difficult in the future. It will also depend on the strategy of Stellantis and the many brands to manage.

the top wheel

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*This text is the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the editorial position of Auto Trade