5 April 2004

Renault is planning to use its global alliances to create the company’s first full-blown SUV.

The new off-roader will take Renault into territory only previously occupied by the manufacturer’s 4x4 wannabes like the Scénic RX4 and Kangoo Trekka (pictured), and will be the first Renault to be produced outside Europe.

Chief executive Louis Schweitzer dropped a significant hint at the Geneva Motor Show that the French manufacturer had identified a market and was considering its options. This week, it emerges that the most likely outcome will be a South Korean-built off-roader by subsidiary arm Renault Samsung.

‘There’s a significant market in Europe, but it’s not large enough to have a specific vehicle developed and sold only there,’ Schweitzer said. The proposed Renault Samsung car would be sold through both Renault and Nissan’s global sales network.

A Renault UK spokesman confirmed that the company had ‘identified an opening in the European market, and is looking at possibilities for an SUV produced within the alliance’.

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