Payne plans Renault fleet reinvention
Speaking to Fleet World, Mr Payne acknowledged that Renault had previously struggled to get its message across, had to battle perceptions about reliability and needed to double its market share back to around 4-5% from its current low of half that.
In order to achieve that Mr Payne, who took over at Renault in autumn last year, has restructured the operation so as to service leasing companies and their customers better, with twice as many staff now concentrated on the sector, while he said there would be increased focus on winning larger fleet business.
He said: 'I don't think our communication has been as good as it should have been, and that includes the information we get to leasing companies, and ensuring that they understand our proposition. That's why I have restructured the team.
'Also, our research has suggested that our advertising and marketing has not cut through as we would have wanted, while our environmental brand Eco2 is middle-ranking in perception, even though we have a very strong message.
'While dropping out of a lot of business over the past couple of year was a conscious decision, we intend to increase our market share up from 2.5% back to 4-5%. We did that in December, and we were surprised by the January volumes, so things are very positive.
'We also intend to get back into the sectors we have done very little business in recently, such as rental and Motability. We're not going to be doing huge volumes, but I think you need to be in them, in order to create momentum and get people driving your cars.'
Mr Payne's Renault reinvention will also address issues such as reliability – he reckons that a number of independent sources suggest its cars are at least as trustworthy as its competitors but that message needs to be reinforced – while he also intends to look at the clarity of the product line-up to make it easier for buyers to understand.
'We have one of the newest model ranges in the industry, all with good CO2 levels and it's up to us to have a regular dialogue with the fleet industry to ensure that we've got that across,' he added.