Iván Segal, general director of Renault Iberia, was shown this Friday very satisfied with Zity, its carpooling initiative launched with Ferrovial in December 2017, and has stated that they have expanded the fleet of 500 vehicles to 650 during a meeting with journalists at the company's headquarters in Spain. He has also said that they are considering taking this urban mobility project to other Spanish or European cities, which has just landed in Paris. The manager of the French manufacturer has taken advantage of the meeting to take stock of 2018 and has drawn up his plans for 2019.
Segal explained that the car sharing service in Madrid has many possibilities to be profitable and that has encouraged them to study other locations, national or international, to export the model. "We are analyzing which sites could be suitable to make the business profitable, we have learned a lot in these 12 months and the alliance with Ferrovial has been very positive," he remarked. The manager has indicated that factors to take into account when choosing new cities to take Zity are free parking for electric vehicles or incentives to purchase these cars.
Regarding the balance of 2018, Segal explained that in the first part of the year their sales have been very similar to those of 2017 although during the second part they have noticed a lot the entry of the new emission regulations that came into effect on September 1. "It has been a very complicated year," Segal said, as Renault had 15% of its range without homologation to the new WLTP regulations. This circumstance has hampered the growth forecasts of the company.
The company achieved a market share of 12.26% in 2018, had a sales volume 2% higher than the previous year, a modest figure taking into account that in the rest of the Spanish market the sales volume increased by 7%. The profitability of its network of dealers has been around 1.5%, one tenth less than in 2017, due to the loss of market share of Renault and the growth of the registrations of Dacia, a brand that has a profitability less. "Dacia's sales are growing steadily and this January they have risen much more than we expected," explained Segal.
The manager has asserted that they hope to return to normal, after the impact suffered by the WLTP, between January and April of this year. "The customer is a little lost on what model of car to buy at this time because of the negative messages that are being launched against diesel and restrictions on the movement of certain vehicles," Segal said.
For 2019, the executive said that his initial forecast is for the Spanish market to grow by 3% and he expects the profitability of the commercial network to reach 1.5%, somewhat lower than in 2018. Segal has pointed out that profitability in the sale of second-hand vehicles will increase to a greater extent than new ones and this year the network will have to endure in the first half, in which there will be no new launches, which will arrive in the second part of the year.
Assembly of electrified vehicles
Segal has confirmed that the last unit of the Twizy electric model of the Valladolid plant has already been manufactured and has indicated that from now on batteries for electrified vehicles will be assembled in this center. According to the company manager, this reconversion is part of the hybrid vehicle manufacturing strategy in Spain, such as the Captur, which is made in Valladolid, or the Mégane, made in Palencia. The company does not foresee at the moment the production of batteries for 100% electric models in Spain.
The general director of Renault Iberia, Iván Segal, pointed out during the meeting with journalists on Friday that the Spanish vehicle fleet has an average age of 12 years, one of the highest in the European Union.
Segal has described PIVE plans as insufficient and has said that they are short-term measures that depend a lot on the swings of political changes. The executive has advocated measures such as the review of the taxation of the sector, through figures such as registration tax and circulation. "The objective is to reach the average age figures of the car fleet that other European countries have, due to pollution and road safety issues After the PIVE plans we have an average age of 12 years and we have not solved the problem ", underscored Segal.