Renault: Europe must counter premium shift, make cars affordable

Renault’s boss has decried automotive regulations in Europe as “objectively favouring premium models” and called on authorities to help redress the balance by promoting the development of affordable cars again.

“Cars are required to be more sophisticated, more fuel-efficient and less costly all at the same time,” a clearly exasperated Luca de Meo wrote in a wide-ranging letter addressed to Europe. “This has already had an effect that is totally counterproductive: passenger cars are now 60% heavier on average.”

In his letter, the Italian strongly advocates a new industrial model that would strengthen the hand of the European automotive industry – and in particular volume brands – in the face of strong competition from China and the US.

His complaint is that Europe’s drive to make cars cleaner and safer has made them heavier and more expensive.

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