Renault plans to change the shape of its contract with Groupe CAT when the current five-year term is up in 2012 and is working with the company to improve performance before it decides on its future direction.
“I am not sure that a new exclusive five-year contract will be put in place with the same format,” said Christian Mardrus, managing director of Alliance Global Logistics, “the format will clearly be different. But what I can assure you of is that we will continue to work with CAT, that is certain.”
Mardrus was responding to questions along with the director of Renault Global Supply Chain, Yves Caracatzanis, at last weeek’s meeting at the company headquarters in Paris to discuss the focus and direction of the Renault Nissan Alliance’s Global Supply Chain Department (DSCM), which was set up in 2008 to replace the Logistics department.
He told Automotive Logistics News that while there was no doubt that Renault would continue to work with CAT, the strategy it would pursue “was yet to be decided upon” and that once efficiency had been improved “deployments and new services would be considered”.
Groupe CAT, once a Renault subsidiary, was sold in 2001 and operates as an independent company but it retains an exclusivity agreement with Renault for vehicle distribution in Western Europe, as well as a number of other contracts for supply, distribution and spare parts, including operations in South America.
It is the exclusive quality of its contract with Renault that now seems to be under review, according to Mardrus’ tentative statements, along with the length, which may indicate that the company is leaning more to Nissan’s practice of biannual re-tendering and network realignment. With the priority now on jointly targeting economies of scale to bring overall benefit for the Alliance rather than the maintaining an even balance of benefits for each company involved, CAT could find itself competing for business on a more regular basis for the range of services it offers both Renault and eventually Nissan.
“I want to make working in the Renault zone a priority,” said Mardrus, “but when there is a good standard of performance, by which I mean quality, reliability and no delays, I see no reason why CAT should not be opened up to Nissan in the future.”
Mardrus said that the work on improvement and competitiveness that began this year was “highly promising”.
Groupe CAT had made no comment on the areas of performance it was looking at with Renault or the future nature of its tender agreements at the time of publication.
See the next edition of Automotive Logistics magazine for an analysis of the Alliance’s supply chain update meeting