Renault brand CEO Fabrice Cambolive said the automaker is reviewing its prices after Tesla’s cuts, marking a U-turn compared to a previous position iterated in February by Renault Group CEO Luca de Meo.
At the time, de Meo said Tesla’s decision to cut prices on its EVs was destroying value for customers and their confidence in the value of their vehicles. He vowed that Renault “will continue to protect the value” of its electric vehicles, suggesting that it wouldn’t resort to price cuts.
But now that the Renault Megane E-Tech has the same starting price in Europe than the Tesla Model 3, the French automaker’s position seems to have changed.
Renault brand CEO Fabrice Cambolive said the wave of price cuts by Tesla is a “warning” for rival manufacturers of electric vehicles. He noted that Tesla’s price cuts would force Renault to take a close look at its pricing policy worldwide, according to Reuters.
“We will analyze country by country, market by market, which level of competitiveness we need to have to stay in the match,” he told reporters on April 17.
Renault’s most competitive EV model, the Megane E-Tech Electric, now costs as much as the Tesla Model 3, one of its competitors. After last week’s price cut by Tesla, the Model 3 starts at 41,990 euros in France, compared with 42,000 euros for the Megane E-Tech Electric.
In contrast with his boss’s comments earlier this year, Cambolive acknowledged that Renault cannot keep the same prices while Tesla is slashing them.
“It’s clear that Tesla cutting prices is a challenge, starting with the cost side of things. It’s a warning that we are looking at,” he said. Sales of the electric Renault Megane rose sharply in March, with strong orders despite a very limited discounting policy. But that was before Tesla cut Model 3 prices.
Despite being significantly smaller than the Tesla Model 3, the Renault Megane E-Tech Electric costs the same now in some European markets. The electric Megane is a subcompact hatchback with SUV styling cues while the Tesla Model 3 is a compact luxury sedan.