Renault clings to turnaround after record loss

It's on a turnaround mission.

And on Friday (Feb 19) Renault said that margins and sales had begun to recover in the second half of 2020.

The impact of the global health crisis though was evident.

And dragged the French carmaker to a $9.68 billion loss last year.

Now Chief Executive Luca de Meo, who took over in July, is focused on profitability and sales.

And is pushing ahead with cost cuts.

He warned on Friday that 2021 might still be rocky.

Not least because of a shortage of electronic chips which is wreaking havoc across the car industry.

Renault expects the shortage to reach a peak in the second quarter.

And estimates it could affect its production by about 100,000 vehicles this year.

The group was already loss-making in 2019.

And it took a sharp hit in 2020 as output faltered and dealerships closed.

That hurt its Japanese partner Nissan too.

Renault is slashing jobs and trimming its range of cars as it focuses on redressing its finances.

Even more than some rivals, it was struggling with sliding sales before 2020.

That followed years of a vast expansion drive it is now trying to rein in.