Our example for Dacia range: we used proven Renault or Nissan solutions to create a new concept of cars. At first they were called “low cost” cars, but now this concept evolved to “smart buy”: cars that offer clients the essential for the best price. Dacia invented a new relationship with the automobile and shook up the established order. As a result, cash-conscious customers can now afford a new vehicle. Dacia buyers benefit from maximum peace of mind as Dacia cars boast renowned reliability and easy maintenance.
Being the engineering center in charge of the Dacia range worldwide, we adapt to this new business model, which has proven its value. That means that our efforts and innovations are directed at meeting our clients’ demands and expectations. And we always have in mind the fact that the results of our work have to bring good business for the company. As a global automotive player, present in 128 countries around the globe, you know, Renault have the advantage of offering its employees the possibility to move, to learn and to experience new things in another field and even in another country. In Romania also, we are multicultural: we have colleagues from different countries (France, Iran, Russia, Spain, Great Britain etc). This creates a melting pot where everyone shares best practices and different ways of doing things and the results are sometimes unexpected and very good. It is a win-win situation for the company and for its employees.
We live in a world that changes very quickly especially in what concerns the technology. For example, in the last 20 years we evolved from room size computers to smartphones that can do almost everything a computer does. Automotive industry has also changed dramatically and it has to integrate solutions from different fields of expertise. This is why we no longer have a “comfort zone”, we have to integrate change in our everyday life as a permanent element.
We also encourage our employees to make that extra step and become involved in projects outside their day to day work, by offering complex and real life training programs. For instance, we offer a yearly program of continuous training, both theoretical and practical, in which a selected group of employees develop a new vehicle project. This was the case for a vehicle called Duster Buster, especially designed for security and intervention firms. This vehicle incited our colleagues to think outside the box and innovate (e.g. spare wheel on the roof) in order to meet some very specific client needs.
We were speaking about innovation and change as an everyday challenge. Coping with the permanent change is not easy, especially when it comes to large companies. Innovation means also adapting permanently and managing this change to become your ally and not your enemy. This is why we rely on our managers to be agents of change, and we encourage them to be leaders that drive the change. We also encourage the culture of result, not the culture of effort: we don’t want to minimize the effort, but the effort is useless without attending your goal.
A company’s results represent its performance and are a measure of its way of doing things. Efforts should be optimized in order to maximize the results. That’s how you add value to your work.
We can see innovation from Dacia range to the electric cars. Romanians are very innovative people, so the company culture fits very well our employees in Romania. I think this is one of the keys to Dacia’s success: cars designed and engineered by innovative people and manufactured in a flexible plant. Our main job now is to keep this success and to make it even bigger by preserving this advantage we have on our competitors. Innovation is, of course, our main tool in doing that.
And we create a frame were innovations flourishes, together with picking up on exterior opportunities. For example, RTR runs a postgraduate studies program in collaboration with technical universities in Bucharest, Craiova, Iasi and Pitesti. Within this program, students come to RTR to develop a new vehicle project, with the aid and support of our specialists. Such is the case for Duster Mobile Office, a vehicle in which it is possible to work just like in any Renault office. Matching connectivity, comfort and business mobility, the Duster Mobile Office was developed by the students, but upgraded and accredited by authorities.
Automotive industry relies on innovation. We have very demanding clients and the competition in higher and higher, so every carmaker has to come with a different offer in order to gain market share. We have to innovate in terms of products, of services or of business model. Renault has innovated with Dacia by bringing a new way to approach the clients. Now, the M0 range (Logan, Sandero, Duster, Lodgy and Dokker models sold under Dacia or Renault brand) represents more than 1/3rd of Renault sales worldwide. Recently, Duster has become the most sold model of Renault. This success made other carmakers search for new solutions. We now have to be careful and pursue our research in the field of “smart buy” to keep our success running.
Therefore, RTR, in charge of the M0 range worldwide, has to constantly nourish innovation. We were the first regional engineering center of Renault to create a Research&Innovation cell, which stimulates innovation in our company and is deeply connected to the universities, technical associations and research institutes to pick up on valuable ideas.