Laguna progamme brought to abrupt end as financial crisis deepens
12 February 2009

Renault is poised to scrap the next-generation Laguna and could virtually pull out of the large car market altogether, senior company sources have revealed.

Renault's Sandouville - which current builds the Laguna, unsuccessful Vel Satis executive hatchback and the ageing Espace MPV - will start building commercial vehicles as well by 2011.

By then its expected that the Vel Satis and Espace will have been phased out. And although Laguna production will continue alongside the commercial vehicles, it will not be replaced when it dies, probably by late 2011.

Last autumn Renault announced that it had suspended development work on its future large cars, including the next generation Renault Espace.

The company indicated that it wanted to reassess the concepts in light of market moves towards smaller, more environmentally friendly vehicles.

Read more about Renault's financial downturn

Renault chief Carlos Ghosn said: "We will have to adapt to new market conditions, re-think individual mobility and adapt to the new trends. But we also think [in the medium to long term] that the oil price will remain high and there will be increased environmental concerns."

However, Renault has not prospered in the large car market in recent years and sales of the newly facelifted Laguna have been much slower than Renault predicted.

Renault sources told Autocar that the new Samsung SM5, which will be launched in December in its home market of Korea, is likely to be rebadged as a Renault and offered for sale in Europe, effectively replacing the Laguna and Vel Satis.

However Renault sources indicated that they do not expect significant demand for the new SM5 (which is based on a large Nissan front-drive platform) in Europe.

Renault owns 80 per cent of Samsung, which also builds the Koleos SUV.

At a press conference in Paris, Ghosn suggested that the new car market might "permanently change" after the global recession ended.

Read Hilton Holloway's blog on the current situation at Renault

Hilton Holloway

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lotus Elise Sprint
    First Drive
    27 April 2017
    The latest incarnation of the Elise may be out of its depth on track, but on the public road it is probably the purest version since the original
  • First Drive
    26 April 2017
    The compromises of adding a plug-in hybrid drivetrain to the 5 Series make the new 530e iPerformance tough to recommend
  • 2017 BMW 440i Coupé
    First Drive
    26 April 2017
    The assumption was that a few minor tweaks to the 2017 BMW 440i Coupé wouldn't make much of a difference. It turns out they do
  • Porsche 911 GT3
    First Drive
    26 April 2017
    Brilliant new Porsche 911 GT3 picks up where the previous GT3 RS and 911 R left off
  • Honda Clarity Fuell Cell
    First Drive
    26 April 2017
    You can't buy the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell, but the innovative hatchback does enough to show that hydrogen models deserve a more mainstream future