Renault's top three markets in Latin America are Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia, according to Jean-Michel Ferrand who is regional Sales and Client Satisfaction Director for the French automaker as well as a Fleet LatAm advisory board member.
During a brief chat with the executive, we discussed market share and 2019 sales forecasts in these countries and more. Mr. Ferrand also shed light on the slowly growing electric vehicle market.
Which country in Latin America is Renault doing the best in terms of volume?
JMF: In terms of volume, we are doing the best in Brazil
and that is because it is a very large market. Second would be Argentina, followed by Colombia and Mexico.
Mexico is actually a very large market, second only to Brazil. Why isn't Renault doing better there?
JMF: Our market share is approximately 2% in Mexico but this number is rising. However, to be really strong in the country, you need to build cars there and this is not the case with Renault right now. We have three factories in Latin America, being in Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia.
Does Renault have any plans to build a factory in Mexico?
JMF: Not that I am aware of.
And what is Renault's market share in Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia?
JMF: It is approximately 9% in Brazil, 15% in Argentina, and 20% in Colombia where we are the leading brand.
Jean-Michel Ferrand (source: Handout)
Does Renault have plans to push electric vehicles (EV) in Latin America?
JMF: Renault is first for EV sales in Europe and we are quite strong there. We are also number one in Latin America but the EV market is very small. For now, we are not planning to build EVs in Latin America and will be importing all of them from Europe. The two vehicles currently available in Latin America are the Zoe (subcompact hatch) and Kango (light commercial vehicle - LCV).
Actually, all the OEMs are working on EV plans but there is really not much demand right now. This could change in the near future though.
So, what is needed to increase EV demand?
JMF: More government incentive is needed. Electric recharging infrastructure needs to be improves but what is really needed is new legislation. In Europe, the market is more interesting because of incentives like lower taxes for EVs and giving EVs presedence to drive in busy urban areas.
What are you expecting in terms of Renault sales in 2019?
JMF: Well, we are expecting to sell around 200,000 in Brazil, followed by 100,000 in Argentina, 50,000 in Colombia, and 30,000 in Mexico. I guess I could add Chile where we are expecting 14,000, and maybe Peru with around 5,000.
While selling is one thing, after-sales service is another. What is Renault doing to maintain the latter?
Post sales services is very important for Renault. We are focused on making sure spare parts are available and having good logistics for the distribution of these parts. Besides having fixed prices, we have maintenance contracts in countries like Brazil and Colombia which help our customers determine their expenditures in advance. These are some of the key things to maintaining good after-sales service.