RCI Bank and Services, the captive provider of Renault financial services, wrote €11.1m (£9.8m) in new business during the first half of 2018, up 6.8% year-on-year.
Growth was driven by an increase in the volume of contracts, which inched closer to the one million mark with 947,146 deals written, up 7.3%. Penetration was up 1.1 percentage points at 41.8%.
The used vehicle segment reported faster growth for financing contracts, up 17.4% to 185,512. New vehicle contracts expanded 5.1% to 761,634 contracts, off the back of overall higher group vehicle deliveries, which surpassed.
The captive reported net banking income of €984m, up 15.8%. At group level, the Renault-Nissan Alliance saw a significant 16% drop in profits at €2m, despite revenues rising 1.4% to €29.9bn. Renault said the profit fall was due to a normalisation of Nissan’s contribution following capital gains the previous year.
“RCI Bank and Services reasserted its goal of diversifying its offering to better respond to the needs of Alliance brand customers,” said Bruno Kintzinger, chief executive officer of RCI Bank. “These results are reflected in a high level of profitability. This success results from the commitment of the entire company.”
Like other carmakers’ financial services units, RCI Bank has been the spearhead for its parent’s effort to transition to a business model more reliant on digital and shared platforms.
The captive, whose mobility strategy has been somewhat more under-the-radar and localised compared to rivals’, has built up a portfolio of ride-hailing and fleet management startups over the past few years, the latest acquisition being Dublin’s iCabbi.
Renault also intends to step up its car sharing game in its home market of France. Taking cue from the collapse of the city hall-backed car sharing scheme in Paris, the company will launch its own scheme, competing with Peugeot-Citroen parent PSA, with hopes of extending it to the wider country.
The carmaker is also one of the growing number of European OEMs looking to integrate autonomous vehicles in ridesharing, akin to what Waymo and Uber are doing overseas. The project is undergoing testing in Rouen, and could benefit from the Alliance’s collaboration with ride-hailer Didi Chuxing in China.