“We’re preparing Renault to be an organisation that, among the traditional car makers, is more adapted to a world that’s changing.
“We were attached to a classical value chain that we all know; now you have new mobility, EV value, chain software, circular economy. It’s like moving from playing soccer to the Olympic Games. Nobody is organised like this, and that’s what we’re trying to do.
“Two years ago, we were almost bankrupt, we were very, very sick. You know what happens to people who are very sick? They tend to be very vital, they’re courageous, they have the right priorities, and that’s what we’re doing at Renault.”
How important will software be in the future?
“Very important. We have decided, after a long internal battle, that we would centralise an electronic architecture starting from 2025 and deploy it throughout the decade up to 2030 to all the cars. It will have the same impact that the smartphone had on the telecommunications industry. You make the architecture more powerful, you connect it to the cloud and [then] you have room to put more data intelligence, because you have spare capacity.”
What will make the difference?
“Firstly, the cars are upgradable, so they will always be state-of-the-art, a little bit like Tesla. Tesla has probably 70% residual value; my cars have 45 to 50%. Secondly, there will be a moment when this technology becomes cheaper. Thirdly, by having a connected car through the cloud in a simple way, for the first time in history you’re in contact with the product throughout its life cycle.
“You combine those things and you understand why we need to go for a centralised electronic architecture. I love the idea of an intelligent car. I believe in the connected car more than autonomous driving. With autonomous driving, I don’t actually see the business benefit as a car maker.”