A report yesterday by the Bloomberg news agency did a very good job of revealing the uncomfortable jam that Renault has got itself into over the last decade.

It’s attempts to clamber out of the mainstream have not only crashed and burned, it seems be inadvertently succeeding at the budget end of the new car market.

At the turn of the century, Renault triggered its plan to move its image away from the mainstream and into something like a French Volkswagen.

It opened its product onslaught with the Avantime, Laguna and Vel Satis. These were followed up by the bustle-back Megane and the Espace.

All of the cars were meant to be unique, polished and upmarket. Chanel rather than Chevrolet. Renault figured that these upmarket big cars would reflect well on the mainstream cars and the company could bridge the pricing gap between it and VW.