The incoming Renault CEO, Luca de Meo, has revealed that he was conscious that the automaker encountered many problems, but he is confident the group could end up becoming a positive turnaround story.

De Meo, addressing investors at the firm’s annual shareholder meeting on Friday before taking up his new job on July 1, said he shared a “sense of urgency” with teams at Renault to deliver on the automaker’s new strategy and restructuring.

“I’m very conscious of the company’s difficulties,” said de Meo, a former Volkswagen Group executive who started his automotive career at Renault nearly 30 years ago, adding that he had been keen to join the company to help tackle the challenge.

De Meo was subject to a six-month non-compete agreement after leaving his post as head of VW Group’s Seat brand in January, but the German automaker reportedly agreed to waive part of the requirement to allow him to make contact with Renault executives starting in early June.

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He is scheduled to present a new strategic plan for Renault by year-end. The plan will be separate from a 2 billion-euro cost-cutting program announced last month.

Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard said de Meo would have “as much room to manoeuvre as he needs” in making decisions about future models and strategy.

Reuters contributed to this report

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