Renault cuts mobility hype with Mobilize relaunch

French firm believes Mobilize has a future if it reduces capital investment and software is leveraged

Clotilde Delbos from Renault Group’s Mobilize stated that “people are still going to want their cars in most places across the globe.” It was refreshingly refreshing to see Tuesday’s presentation, which explained how the new mobility arm would capitalize upon people who don’t want cars anymore.

Renault’s ex-chief financial officer and straight-talking ex chief financial officer Delbos isn’t your average hype merchant.

Their mobility plans are becoming reality as car manufacturers work out how to make it feasible for people who are not ambivalent about owning a car.

The idea of autonomous taxi fleets is becoming less popular.

After many years of losses, BMW & Mercedes finally gave up on their car-sharing dreams after years.

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Mobilize will enter the market with the launch of its electric two-seat Renault Twizy Twizy Twizy heir Duo, but “as facilitator not an operator,” Fedra Ribeiro (chief operating officer at Mobilize), stated in the presentation. Renault will lease the car to other car-share companies and offer maintenance plans, with the exception of Zity’s four-city car sharing program.

Mobilize projects that Duo will reduce operating costs by 35% compared to a 4-seater. Duo helps to avoid the curse of the unloved car-share vehicle. Duo features include removable, washable seat covers and bumpers in special colours. Plastic bumpers can also hide scratches.

Mobilize will manage Duo and Bento, a van version of the Duo, in a Mobilize Share program. This scheme, however, would not be free-floating on streets of cities but instead would be built out of existing Renault dealerships.

The second Mobilize vehicle, which is cheaper than the MG 5, will be leased by Uber and other ride-hail providers such as Uber. Mobilize won’t operate a ridesharing program. A third vehicle, the electric last mile delivery van Hippo (previously EZ Flex), is available.

Mobilize’s core business does not include ride-hailing and car sharing. It focuses on finance. Similar concepts are also used by other mobility brands like Stellantis’ free2move and Toyota’s Kinto. Yesterday’s Mobilize presentation included the announcement that Renault’s RCI Bank was renamed Mobilize Financial Services.

Mobilize businesses account for 6% currently of Renault Group’s revenues. RCI bank was responsible for 99%. Mobilize plans on increasing that percentage to 20%. Delbos admitted that half of this share will still be from RCI bank services such as leasing. Half of the revenue will be paid for services.

Finance is the real action in both the mobility and finance worlds. Joao Leandro, CEO of Mobilize Financial Services, stated that customers are changing from purchasing to buying. The bank arm plans on increasing its lease fleet by 80% to 1,000,000.

Mobilize points to data showing that operating leases in which the car is rented by the company will rise from 36% to 62% for global new car sales, to 36% by 2030. Subscriptions offer flexible leasing options. Mobilize has plans to lease 1,000,000 vehicles and subscribe to 200,000 vehicles.

This is being considered also for used cars. Renault intends to return its new cars,’remanufacture’ them and then lease them back as used cars. Mobilize bought Bipi in July 2013, a Spanish brand-agnostic subscription for used cars. The company announced Tuesday that it will bring the service to the UK at the end of the month. It is hoped it will be competitive with other subscription services for used cars like Cazoo.

Customers of Mobilize can sign up online in minutes. This is how car companies envision the future of mobility. Avoid unnecessary capital investment and avoid getting too involved with complex operations such as car sharing. Don’t rely on self-driving taxis. Instead, connect with a bank to control the car’s entire life cycle.