Renault is considering launching a fourth brand called 'Initiale Paris', which would join Dacia, Renault and Alpine in the company's portfolio

Renault is considering launching a new premium brand, provisionally called ‘Initiale Paris’. 

If the plan goes ahead, the French firm would build its business around four marques, using Dacia as a value brand, Renault as the mainstream brand and Initiale Paris and Alpine as niche premium and sporting brands, according to French newspaper Les Echos.

The move would echo the creation of Citroën’s successful DS sub-brand and would give Renault a chance to piggyback on the success of French premium luxury goods in the huge Chinese market.

Quoting chief operating officer Carlos Tavares, the paper says a decision on the new plan will be made towards the end of the year. 

The ‘Initiale’ name was first used by Renault for a 1995 luxury concept car. This pointed the way to Renault’s ill-fated attempt to launch itself upmarket at the turn of the century, a move that began with the Avantime and the unsuccessful Vel Satis.

Early this year Tavares was quoted as saying that Renault’s premium car would be based on a Mercedes E-class platform and have a Renault-designed body and interior. There’s no news on a source for the longitudinally mounted engines such a car would require, although Infiniti, part of the Renault-Nissan group, currently uses longitudinally mounted Nissan powertrains. 

Renault is likely to get access to the current E-class platform, which is due to be replaced by Mercedes’ new modular architecture. The first Mercedes based on the new platform will be the 2013 C-class, suggesting that any new ‘Initiale Paris’ model would not arrive before the first half of 2015.

Mercedes and Renault have a number of ongoing collaborations. The 1.5-litre diesel engine used in the A-class and B-class is French-sourced, and there are plans to build the next-generation Renault Twingo and Smart Forfour on the same platform at Renault’s plant in Slovenia. 

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2 June 2012

I cant see it working too well in Europe unless it launches its own seperate dealerships and disassosciates itself as much as possible from Renault. Current Renault dealership standards and warranty support would likely kill any pretentions to luxury levels of servicing and back up no matter how pretty they make the places. It may work in China though.

4 June 2012

Autocar dear, get it right, please!

Initiale Paris once was what before stood for Baccara, just trim level (up-scale in their business plan).

It FAILED, and if they bring it this time as a separate brand, it will miserably FAIL,  once more.

stupid naming.

Renault get it straight, go ahead together with Infinity, create a pan-european separate dealer network and introduce RWD up-scale cars (using engines/platforms from Nissan/Infinity and the expected Mercedes-Benz ones too) with a separate brand, but stay away from names including Paris, Champs-Elysées, Trocadero, Carla Bruni, joyeuses mignones, petites poitrines & the like, got it?

It may work, not sure.

2 June 2012

Clever that they have access to the current E' platform - it'll be better than the modular architecture which I think is a really terrible idea myself.

Bring back steel wheels.

2 June 2012

...or they'll fail miserably and Renault can't take much more failure in their current state.  They need brand new, luxury dealerships that have no visible Renault connection; modern, elegant designs - but nothing otherworldly or they'll alienate executive customers; advanced, efficient engines; and a good ride with lots of decent handling prowess.  That's a big ask for the established premium players, never mind Renault.

2 June 2012

Renault risks spreading itself too thin with this, perhaps with disasterous consequences like with Mazda (no Amati but there is the Eunos and Europe-only Xedos), or minor like Maybach at best. If separation with Nissan is taken this far - Infiniti is not considered Renault - then they should at least use something that is already a known quantity like Alpine - even if they have to make it sporty (hence rivalling Infiniti) to keep it believable and respect heritage.

Renault has invested heavily on new powertrains and its Nissan affiliiate is also doing Datsun for markets where Dacia is unknown. Those are far more viable paths in a world with uncertain economic future in developed countries. As for China, customers there only have appetite for expensive stuff that's already proven itself in western markets, so it's unlikely to work there either.

2 June 2012

Surely Renault-Nissan should concentrate on their Infiniti brand as their sole premium brand? They are in danger of doing a BL and having too many similar brands that they won't be able to manage..

Lada, Dacia, Nissan, Renault, Alpine, Gordini, Infiniti, Initiale Paris, and then ofcourse affiliated brands like Mercedes-Benz and Smart.

2 June 2012

PRODIGY wrote:

Surely Renault-Nissan should concentrate on their Infiniti brand as their sole premium brand? They are in danger of doing a BL and having too many similar brands that they won't be able to manage..

Lada, Dacia, Nissan, Renault, Alpine, Gordini, Infiniti, Initiale Paris, and then ofcourse affiliated brands like Mercedes-Benz and Smart.

Doesn't seem to be a problem for the world's No.1 VW...

2 June 2012

"Doesn't seem to be a problem for the world's No.1 VW..."

True, but do you really believe that Renault-Nissan could do it as well as VW do? I reckon it would be more of a BL style disaster rather than a VAG group success story!

2 June 2012

French and Chinese have been close for years. The foreign language was for so many years French. More recently they have caught up with the rest of the world and English has taken over. But their love affair with fashion brands Vutton for instance is what has kept those companies from bankrupcy for years. However, as we all know the car with fashion doesnt always win. From the design dummy shown here, I think that it is as close to a mechanised rickshaw as one can get. Painfully ugly and would suffer the same fait as the Vel Satis got in Europe. Maybe  Nissan - Renault is trying to really split up in every way because Nissan makes profit where Renault makes lots of red ink

what's life without imagination

3 June 2012

Renault would really need to sort out their mainstream cars first.They are very much the weak link in the partnership with Nissan


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