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Renault names Luca de Meo as new chief executive

Renault chief executive Luca de Meo

Renault has appointed former Seat president Luca de Meo as its new chief executive more than a year after the departure of Carlos Ghosn from the brand.

de Meo, who stepped down from his role at Seat earlier this month, will officially join the French carmaker in July as the business begins a drive to stem falling sales and repair its relationship with alliance partner Nissan.

Clotilde Delbos, currently Renault’s interim chief executive, will become deputy chief executive once de Meo joins the business as interim deputy chief executive Olivier Murguet leaves his post after 30 years to “pursue personal projects”, according to the Financial Times.

A statement issued by Renault today (January 29) said that its board of directors considered that de Meo, through his career, his experience and his success in his previous functions, combined "all the qualities to contribute to all aspects of Groupe Renault’s development and transformation".

Jean-Dominique Senard, chairman of the board of directors, said: “I am delighted with this new governance, which marks a decisive step for the Group and for the Alliance.

"Luca de Meo is a great strategist and visionary of a rapidly changing automotive world. His expertise but also his passion for cars make him a real asset for the Group.

"I also thank Clotilde Delbos who provides interim management of the Group in an exceptional manner. She has demonstrated day after day her commitment and determination in the service of Renault. Together, with the support of a renewed and strengthened executive committee, they will form a high-quality, multi-talented team equal to Renault's ambitions." 

Reuters reported that Nissan had welcomed the appointment of de Meo.

The president and chief executive of the Japanese brand, Makoto Uchida, said: “We are all looking forward to working closely with him and our Alliance partners in our efforts to support mutually profitable growth.”

de Meo started his automotive career at Renault more than 25 years ago. He has since worked for Toyota and Fiat, before joining VW Group in 2009.

During his four-year tenure as Seat president, de Meo oversaw a dramatic turnaround of the Spanish firm - launching its SUV range and moving Cupra to a standalone brand.

Sales have soared, with Seat UK increasing its annual registrations by 9.4% to 69,000 cars in 2019, according to data published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The next step in the brand’s evolution is the launch of its fully-electric El Born model, which is expected later this year.

Seat’s vice-president for Finance, Carsten Isensee is currently leading the Seat business pending the appointment of a new brand president.

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