Por Gilles Guillaume

PARIS, April 17 (Reuters) – French carmaker Renault is reviewing its global electric vehicle pricing policy to stay competitive after a wave of price cuts from U.S. rival Tesla, a senior executive said on Monday. .

After repeatedly lowering prices in the United States, Tesla on Friday slashed prices in Europe – including Renault’s France – as well as in Israel and Singapore, extending a global campaign of discounts that began in China in January.

“We are going to analyze country by country, market by market, what level of competitiveness we need to stay in the game,” Fabrice Cambolive, general manager of the Renault brand, told reporters on Monday.

The brand’s sales rose 9% in the first quarter of the year, indicating that a restructuring strategy focused on the most profitable models could start to pay off after four years of declining revenues.

Cambolive said the rally stretched into April, adding, however, that Tesla’s price cuts were a wake-up call for rivals.

The official said sales of Renault’s electrified Megane model, one of its most popular, rose sharply in March, with strong orders despite a very limited discount policy. But the model now costs as much as its main competitor Tesla.

Following Tesla’s price cut last week, the Tesla Model 3 in France starts at €41,990, compared to €42,000 for the electric Megane.

The Megane E sold 3,570 units in France in the first quarter, compared to 3,158 for the Tesla Model 3, although the American manufacturer also sold 9,364 units of its top-of-the-range Model Y SUV in the country.

“It’s clear that (Tesla’s price cut) is a challenge, starting with the cost. It’s a warning that we’re analyzing,” Cambolive said.

Worldwide sales of the Renault brand reached 354,545 vehicles in the first three months of the year.

(Reporting by Gilles Guillaume; writing by Silvia Aloisi; editing by Mark Potter;

Categorized in: