Renault to stop production of Espace model as automaker cuts costs

Renault Espace

Renault is planning to significantly reduce its vehicle range, withdrawing well-known but poorly performing models like the Espace minivans, as part of looming cost reduction plans, four sources in the industry and close to the French automaker said.

The automaker, hit by the downfall of its former boss Carlos Ghosn and by setbacks in its major markets, is set to detail at the end of the month about how it intends to cut costs by 2 billion euros ($2.16 billion) during the next three years.

That will coincide with the automaker’s embattled Japanese partner Nissan Motor’s own strategic update, set to be outlined on May 28 and which should encompass a pullback from Europe and elsewhere to concentrate on the markets such as the United States, China and Japan.

“The project is not yet entirely set in stone but the Espace, the (compact minivan) Scenic and the large sedan Talisman should already be considered scrapped from the future product program, it is practically a given that these models will stop,” one of the sources informed Reuters.

“In short, fewer minivans and sedans and a focus on crossovers and SUVs”, the source said.

The company had already embarked on an overhaul of its ranges in 2009 but it still has between 45 and 50 models in its catalog, under its own brand along with Dacia, RSM, Lada and Alpine.

Renault posted its first net loss in 10 years and has been hit hard like its competitors by the coronavirus crisis.

The automaker, which is 15%-owned by the French state, is negotiating a 4 billion to 5-billion-euro aid package with the government to deal with the impact of the decline in sales and production because of the pandemic.

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