May 14, 2020 / 1:12 PM / 11 days ago

Renault to discontinue iconic models as carmaker cuts costs - sources

PARIS, May 14 (Reuters) - Renault is preparing to substantially trim down its vehicle range, withdrawing well-known but ailing models like the Espace minivans, as part of looming cost cutting plans, four sources in the industry and close to the French carmaker said.

The company, shaken by the downfall of its once star CEO Carlos Ghosn and by setbacks on its main markets, is set to detail at the end of the month how it aims to cut costs by two billion euros ($2.16 billion) over the next three years.

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

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

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

Renault, which last year posted its first net loss in 10 years and has been hit hard like its peers by the coronavirus crisis, declined to comment. (Reporting by Gilles Guillaume, Writing by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Sarah White)

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