The company is known for numerous revolutionary designs, security technologies, and motor racing.
Renault S.A. is a French automaker producing cars, vans, buses, tractors, and trucks. Due to its alliance with Nissan, it is currently the world's 4th largest automaker. It owns the Romanian automaker Automobile Dacia and the Korean automaker Renault Samsung Motors. Carlos Ghosn is the current CEO. The company's most successful car to date is the Renault Clio, and its core market is France. The company is known for numerous revolutionary designs, security technologies, and motor racing. Producing cars since late 1897, the Renault corporation was founded in 1899 as Société Renault Frères by Louis Renault, his brothers Marcel and Fernand, and his friends Thomas Evert and Julian Wyer. Louis was a bright, aspiring young engineer who had already designed and built several models before teaming up with his brothers, who had honed their business skills working for their father's textiles firm. While Louis handled design and production, Marcel and Fernand handled company management. The first Renault car, the Renault Voiturette 1CV was sold to a friend of Louis' father after giving him a test ride on 24 December 1898. The client was so impressed with the way the tiny car ran and how it climbed the streets that he bought it. The brothers immediately recognised the publicity that could be obtained for their vehicles by participation in motor racing and Renault made itself known through achieving instant success in the first city-to-city races held in Switzerland, resulting in rapid expansion for the company. Both Louis and Marcel Renault raced company vehicles, but Marcel was killed in an accident during the 1903 Paris-Madrid race. Although Louis Renault never raced again, his company remained very involved, including Ferenc Szisz winning the first ever Grand Prix motor racing event in a Renault AK 90CV in 1906. Louis was to take full control of the company as the only remaining brother in 1906 when Fernand retired for health reasons. Signed on 27 March 1999, the Renault–Nissan Alliance is the first of its kind involving a Japanese and a French company, each with its own distinct corporate culture and brand identity, linked through cross-shareholding. Renault has a stake of 44.4 percent in the Japanese automaker Nissan, while Nissan in turn has a 15 percent stake (non-voting) in Renault. For 2004 Renault reported a 43% rise in net income to €3.5 billion and 5.9% operating margin, of which Nissan contributed €1,767 million. The Group (Renault, Dacia, Renault Samsung Motors) posted a 4.2% increase in worldwide sales to a record 2,489,401 vehicles, representing a global market share of 4.1%. Renault retained its position as the leading brand in Europe with 1.8 million passenger cars and light commercial vehicles sold and market share of 10.8%. In 2005. the Renault–Nissan Alliance held 9.8% of the worldwide market (5.74% for Nissan and 4.04% for the Renault group) with sales of 3,597,748 (Nissan) and 2,531,500 (Renault Group), placing the alliance fourth after GM, Toyota, and Ford. For the calendar year of 2008, its total global sales were 6,090,304, a decrease of 1.1% against a global industry market decline of 5%, resulting in a 9.4% share, up from 9.1% in 2007.