Well, Renault's on the rise in France. The work we've accomplished in the past few years on products, services and dealership development is bearing fruit. The results are coming in, with dealerships reporting a definite increase in business. Premises have been modernized. Tools are being upgraded. So we now need to ensure our human resources are scaled to keep pace with this business growth and meet our customers' expectations. I'm responsible for helping the Renault dealer network bring in the skills it needs.
Looking at demand as it stands today, I'd say somewhere around a thousand people. That's just an estimate. The dealerships will be recruiting individually, as will Renault Retail Group. We're not talking about Renault SAS recruitment, so we can't say exactly how many new arrivals there'll be on the dealership payrolls by the end of the year.
We're mostly looking for people to handle product and service sales advisory functions, and they'll usually have a background with two years in higher education. But know-how will count more than formal qualifications as such. We need outward-going people capable of getting a proper grip on what our customers are saying. We need people who are genuinely enthusiastic about our products and motivated by the prospect of taking an active role in the development of our brands in France.
It's pretty straightforward. Applicants are invited to submit their CVs online through the website www.ecole-de-vente.renault.fr. They'll choose one to three preferential regions in France. We'll draw up a shortlist based on the incoming information, and forward the shortlisted CVs to the dealerships in the regions in question. The dealerships will then contact the applicants they're interested in directly, and call them in for interviews. There's a tracking system for monitoring application management at each of our regional divisions. So far we've already received more than 650 applications.
It's a definite advantage to have a good gender balance in the automotive retail business. But that being said I'm not really setting a target on this. First and foremost we're looking for people with the right profiles, as regards education, personality and motivation. We want the best we can get: women and men. If we end up getting a high proportion of women, well so much the better.
Business has been brisk during the first half of 2015, with successful launches for New Espace and Kadjar, plus good performance in the used vehicle and aftersales markets. Then the outlook looks bright for the second half of the year, with Talisman appearing in the showrooms for the autumn. And there are more new products coming next year. So, yes, the way things are going I'd be inclined to say that the dealer network will be hiring more people still in 2016.
Thanks, Philippe Buros!