Renault Group CEO, Luca de Meo tops Autocar’s Power List 100
Luca de Meo awarded top spot in Autocar UK’s 100 most influential and successful people in the automotive industry for his ‘Renaulution’ transformation plan, leading to rapid turnaround for the entire Renault Group.
Luca de Meo, Renault Group CEO, has been awarded the top spot in Autocar UK’s Power List 100. The list – first introduced in 2022 – celebrates the most influential and successful people within the global automotive industry.
Joining Renault Group in 2020, De Meo previously held a series of senior positions at Toyota, Fiat Group and the Volkswagen Group, where he rose to lead Seat and Cupra. In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, De Meo set to work in creating a thorough transformation strategy spanning all Renault Group brands. This highly ambitious plan was titled the ‘Renaulution’.
In just three years, De Meo’s ‘Renaulution’ has already resulted in a massive change in the company’s fortunes. The company returned to profit in 2021, before doubling it to 2.6 billion euros in 2022 with a margin of 5.6%. Then, in the first half of 2023 the company broke its all-time margin record of 7% with a 7.6% result on profits of 2.12 billion euros.
Mark Tisshaw, editor of Autocar UK, said: “Luca de Meo’s improbable climb to the top of this chart is testament to the extraordinary turnaround he has achieved at Renault Group. When the Italian joined in 2020, the French company had fallen into the one of the deepest financial holes ever faced by a global automotive company. The pandemic had abruptly turned off the cash tap and exposed all kinds of problems in a company still suffering from its previous dash-for-volume approach.
“He ripped up Renault’s product plan on day one of the job after being shown too many low-margin small cars in the design studio and shifted the launch focus to more profitable segments to underpin the company while allowing the smaller cars to remain, both at Renault and Dacia. Meanwhile, he has also taken a more pragmatic approach to the Alliance with Nissan, including realigning the shareholding between Renault and its Japanese partner.
“De Meo’s competent demeanour, steely business approach, unrivalled networking ability and smartly applied experience has given Renault the ability to not just survive but strongly compete in a fast-changing market.”
Luca de Meo, Renault Group CEO, added: “I am immensely honoured by this award. It recognizes the titanic work done by the Renault Group team over the last three years, transforming in-depth this great company to put it back where it deserves, at the forefront of innovation. Actually, all this is much more than a classical turnaround.”
He added, “Beyond structurally restoring the Group’s financials and preparing its best line-up in three decades, we are turning Renault into a new kind of car company: ready for the future, more horizontal, partnering with the best to cover an incredibly broader, more diverse and volatile value chain than in the last 150 years; focusing dedicated and agile teams on EV and software, circular economy, distinctive sportscars, new mobility, and ICE cars. Few people would have bet that the Renault Group would be able to get there in only three years. We keep humble and focused because the challenges ahead are very tough, but we also know that we have put ourselves in the condition to lead the new automotive game that is emerging. Count on us to keep surprising you in the coming months and years!”
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