Renault’s attempt to resume production in Russia stalls
April 6th, 2022, Stephan Shakespeare

Renault’s attempt to resume production in Russia stalls

On March 21, it was reported that Renault would resume production in Russia in the midst of its ongoing conflict with Ukraine. The move was followed a couple of days later by a hasty reversal, but data from YouGov BrandIndex shows that, in the short term at least, the controversy has done damage to the automaker.

Buzz scores, which track whether consumers have heard something positive or negative about a company in the past two weeks, indicate that the story has cut through with the public – falling from 1.4 to -3.6 between March 20 – 27 (-5). This influenced general opinion of the brand: Impression scores, a measure of positive and negative sentiment, declined from 12.2 to 6.1 (-6.1) in the same period.

Resuming manufacture in Russia (however temporarily) had a severe impact on public perceptions of the carmaker’s quality, with scores tracking this metric plunging from 7.2 to -2.2 (-9.4). The reverse-ferret also failed to put the brakes on Renault’s dwindling Reputation scores – a metric that tracks whether someone would be proud or embarrassed to work for a brand, and one that declined from 6.4 to 2.3 (-4.1). Recommendation scores also slumped from 5.7 to -0.8: a deterioration of 6.5 points.

Finally, the public are less willing to consider Renault than they were before: scores measuring whether consumers would think about purchasing from a brand when given a list of options tracked downwards from 13.2 to 9.0 (-4.2) between March 20 and 27.

Renault was reportedly reluctant to halt production in Russia over the expense associated with leaving the invading country – but as other brands such as Ryanair (which recently rejected claims that it hiked fares for Ukrainian refugees) can attest, the perception that you’re on the wrong side of this conflict can have costs of its own for brands.

This article originally appeared in City A.M.