|Headquarters||Buenos Aires, Argentina|
|Key people||Thierry Koskas (CEO)|
|Revenue||ARS12.9 billion (2012)|
|Total assets||ARS4.9 billion (2012)|
|Owner(s)||Renault SAS (96.33%)
|Subsidiaries||Centro Automotores S.A. and Centro del Norte S.A. (car dealerships)
Metalúrgica Tandil S.A. (metallurgical)
Plan Rombo S.A. and Courtage S.A. (automotive financing)
Renault Argentina is the Argentinean subsidiary of Renault. It is one of the oldest Renault's operations in Latin America and is ranked consistently in the first places by sales between the local automakers. Renault Argentina was officially established in 1975, but the French company had a long presence in Argentina before that.
Renault partnered with Industrias Kaiser Argentina, a company created by Kaiser-Frazer Automobile Corporation and the Argentinean government, which had a factory in Santa Isabel, Córdoba and a network of smaller factories around the country. In 1967, Renault took control of Industrias Kaiser Argentina by acquiring a majority stake, renaming it IKA Renault SAICF. In 1970, Renault purchased the remaining company's shares, introducing in 1971 one of its most popular cars in the Argentinean market, the Renault 12. In 1975, the French automaker renamed its operations again, this time as Renault Argentina SA.
Market expansion and decline
During the next years, Renault launched a series of successful Argentinean-made models such as the Renault 18 and the Renault 11, but at the end of the 1980s it was hit by the country's economic crisis. The French parent company decided to divest from its Argentinean operations.
When Carlos Saúl Menem assumed the Argentinean presidency, the markets were opened and Renault ceased many of its minor operations in Argentina, improving its economic situation. In 1992, the entrepreneur Manuel Antelo agreed the purchase of a majority stake in Renault Argentina. According to some journalists, the terms of this agreement were very advantageous for Antelo. He only had to pay if the company made profits and also received ARS100 million from Renault. Renault Argentina was renamed Compañia Interamericana de Automóviles SA (American Automobile Company) or Ciadea. The actual ownership of it was transferred to a holding called Compagnie Financière pour l'Amérique Latine (Financial Company for Latin America) or Cofal, from which Antelo owned two-thirds and the rest was from Renault of France. The holding also took control of the newly established Brazilian operations. Cofal in turn only held 72.3 percent of Ciadea. The remaining shares were listed on the Buenos Aires stock exchange.
Antelo reorganized the corporate structure, fired workers and installed facility improvements, bringing the level of quality to that of the Renault factories in France. The company introduced the Renault 19 and Renault Clio and became one of the leading automakers.
In 1994 the Argentinean Justice began proceedings against Antelo alleging smuggling and defrauding due to a complaint by the Dirección General de Aduanas (National Customs Administration), which accused him of making fraudulent imports and exports of vehicles. The move was related to the exportation of auto parts to Uruguay before returning it to Argentina as Renault Trafic units.
According to the charges, these operations allowed Ciadea to improperly collect exportation refunds and exemption taxes for imported vehicles. In April 1998, the Federal Court dismissed the accusations to Antelo. The Federal Court of Appeal reversed the judgment ordering again prosecutions. In August 2000, a court set a bail of ARS1 million to Antelo and exempted him from going to prison. In February 2006, the case was dismissed.
Return to Renault
Since 1995 Ciadea, despite the introduction of the Clio and the Mégane, struggled to achieve profitability. In 1997, Antelo sold a majority stake of Cofal to Renault. Ciadea was called again Renault Argentina. The company had mixed results during the next years. From 2001 to 2010, Renault Argentina was in charge of the Nissan sales.
In 2005, Renault ordered to its stock operations company, Renault Développement Industriel et Commercial (RDIC), to launch a takeover bid for its shares, leaving the stock exchange in 2006.
Santa Isabel factory
The Santa Isabel factory is located 10 kilometers away from Córdoba province's capital, in a land area of 238.5 hectares, within which the building covers approximately 400,000 square meters. This industrial facility is divided into several workshops: Drawing and Welding Department, Assembly Department and Painting Department, supported by the Departments of Industrial Logistics, Engineering and Quality, all dependents on the factory's management. It also has Departments of Human Resources, Logistic, Financial Management, Business, among others.
In 2006, the 50th anniversary of its inauguration, Renault organised a commemorative parade where participated all the vehicles produced at the plant since 1956.
Renault Argentina manages a sporting division called Renault Sport Argentina. The division participates in Super TC2000, TC2000, Turismo Nacional and organises the local Formula Renault championship. In TC2000, Renault achieved a great success with the Argentinean-made Renault Fuego during the 1980s and 1990s. Renault Sport Argentina also formed the Renault Duster Team to participate at the 2013 Dakar Rally with two units.
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