15 Nov 22

Renault's LCV unit to become independent

The Renault FlexEVan: small size, big cargo.

French car maker Renault is continuing the revision of its business operations. After splitting up the units for electric cars and combustion-engined models, it will now lend more independence to its LCV unit. The brand also announced a new modular model, FlexEVan, as part of that future strategy.

The FlexEVan aims at cutting the TCO of fleets. Renault predicts a total cost of ownership for the all-electric model at €100,000, with the purchase price accounting for €20,000 to €30,000. This is around 30% less than existing combustion-engined models, primarily diesel-powered.

A first version of the FlexEVan, called the Hippo, was showcased by Renault’s mobility arm Mobilize. With a footprint similar to the Kangoo, the model offers the cargo space of the much bigger Trafic, due to optimised packaging made possible by the flexible electric driveline components. Renault will assemble the FlexEVan with another OEM without specifying a name.

30% fleet replacement

This is most likely Nissan, seeing the previous collaboration between both brands on utilitarian vehicles. Renault also said it would reshape its LCV business unit, turning it into a standalone unit to respond to growing market trends like last-mile delivery and electrification. This will be together with that unnamed automotive partner.

In response to Automotive News Europe CEO of Renault Luca de Meo further stated that the “new emission regulations”, i.e. Euro 7, will require that “30% of Europe’s fleet must be replaced”. As a result, an independent business unit for vans will be able to react more agile to that trend.

The LCV unit is very profitable for Renault. It accounts for around 20% of the earnings of the car maker. Spinning off the LCV department is a trend in the automotive landscape. Ford and Stellantis recently organised a similar move. The commercial vehicles unit is historically rooted at Volkswagen as a separate branch.

Image Source: Renault

Authored by: Piet Andries