Currently reading: Renault: 'We can go premium'
COO says Renault could sustain a new, upmarket brand — but it might take 25 years to succeed
Jim Holder
News
2 mins read
12 July 2012

A Renault Group premium brand under the Initiale Paris name could take 25 years to become a commercial success, chief operating officer Carlos Tavares has admitted.

The move, which was first rumoured earlier this year and would follow the lead of Nissan with its Infiniti offshoot, would not only complement the firm’s existing brands, Renault and Dacia, but also the potential launch of another new sports car marque with Alpine.

“We have already used the Initiale Paris name for high-end special editions and for a concept car,” said Tavares. “But if we are to launch it as a brand then we must try something more specific.


We must capture buyers who want to buy for the sake of design or attractiveness.”

Tavares is believed to be considering using Renault’s collaboration with Mercedes — which has already led to several joint ventures — to leverage use of the next-generation E-class platform. The first car to be built off the platform is scheduled to be the new C-class in 2013, suggesting a Renault offshoot wouldn’t arrive until at least 2015.

Even then, Tavares does not believe that any new premium brand can expect to achieve quick success. “It took 25 years for Infiniti to reach a point where it could fund its own products, and 30 years for Audi to be a success,” he said.

However he insisted that Renault was big enough to sustain four brands.

“It is clear that the space could be there in the market for an upmarket brand, and that the Renault Group has space for such approaches,” he said.

“Dacia fulfils the role of being a smart purchase, Renault offers a core attractiveness and must always aim at making a potential Volkswagen buyer hesitate and consider it instead, while Alpine could put us in the sports car market if we go ahead with it.”

Advertisement
Advertisement

Find an Autocar review

Join the debate

Comments
27
Add a comment…
Ihatewhitevanman 13 July 2012

Premium???

At the moment they are struggling to keep up with mainstream.

Challenger440 13 July 2012

How many remember the Renault 30?

How many remember the Renault 4 or 5?   Learn the lesson: after all this fashion-led premium 'crap' has come and gone, people will buy and remember good, functional, pratical, fun cars like the 4 and 5 - that's where the future lies.

Old Toad 13 July 2012

Yes I do more the 5 than the 4

Thing is didnt Renault do a concept 5 recently and they brought out the new Clio abortion instead . I mean the Clio sales figures have dropped by 75 % over the lifetime of the Clio name surely that should say its time for a change . Instead they blunder blindly on .

I do wonder if each manager/designer has a brief of select a blunderbuss point at foot squeeze trigger .

They really seem to be on a course to self destruct .

Rich boy spanners 12 July 2012

I suspect the boat has sailed

I suspect the boat has sailed for Renailt and 'premium'. Too many years of negative association with unreliable technology. Skoda have a more upmarket image than Renault.

Renault may well, in 25 years, be able to have a stand-alone premium brand, but you'd wonder if the money to do so wouldn't be better spent on Dacia.

Flatus senex 13 July 2012

The flair has to be there

No reason why Renault can't produce their equivalent of the 500 or DS3 provided the flair is there. Although it is an elusive quality, flair is more likely to be found there than at VW or Toyota. The management will need courage though.

manicm 13 July 2012

Flatus senex wrote: No

Flatus senex wrote:

No reason why Renault can't produce their equivalent of the 500 or DS3 provided the flair is there. Although it is an elusive quality, flair is more likely to be found there than at VW or Toyota. The management will need courage though.

No way, Citroen at least had the heritage of the original DS (my dad owned one) and its equally evocative successor - the CX, Renault has no such history tro draw from. Which Renault luxury car do you remember, the Laguna??? There was a bigger one but I can't even remember its name.

What Renault should do for starters, is to rejuvenate its star MPVs - the Scenic looks dreary and stale and a premium successor could do well. It should also re-invent the Espace. This will renew interest in the smaller cars - but I do like the new Clio already, ugly nose apart.

Find an Autocar car review