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Renault Talisman

Renault to revive bestselling cars with an electric makeover

Renault’s new CEO Luca de Meo will revive some best-selling models from the 1960s to 1990s era as electric vehicles under a turnaround plan intended at improving sales and repositioning the struggling automaker, two sources knowledgeable with the matter said.

De Meo is due to reveal his strategy update on January 14, which is expected to focus on the product ranges the automaker will bet on – including a nod to Renault’s past.

The loss-making French automaker has already announced 2 billion euros in cost savings and job cuts in its bid to enhance margins and improve the group’s performance in an auto market hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and under pressure to produce cleaner vehicles.

De Meo, who has said he wanted to lean on the brand’s French roots, will reveal an electric version of the now-phased-out small 4L cars introduced in the early 1960s, according to the two sources.

There will also be a revived, electric version of another well-known 1970s and 1980s model, based on the R5 or its successor the “Super Cinq”, the sources added.

“Luca de Meo is very focused on the products, and his strategy plan will be too,” one of the sources said.

Among other Renault brands, the group will also launch three new electric models for the Alpine sportscar label, the sources said.

One of Renault’s challenges will be to form distinct identities for each of the brands, which also include Dacia and Lada.

The company has already flagged that it aims to focus on a smaller number of ranges and hone in on profitable products, and also potentially exiting some markets, reversing the worldwide push based on volumes under former boss Carlos Ghosn.

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