Renault planning five new upscale models by 2010

Renault is planning to expand into the upscale market with five new models within the next three years, sources have confirmed. Previous ventures upmarket didn’t turn out so well for the French automaker, but it’s determined to make another go of it with the hopes of cashing in on the market for pricier vehicles.

The first new model slated for production is a compact crossover previewed by the Kaleos concept (above) unveiled last year in Paris. It’s been developed with input from Samsung Motors, Renault’s South Korean subsidiary. Samsung is also expected to contribute to the development of a large sedan and a large SUV for Renault as well. Further premium models could be niche vehicles made in limited quantities, and Renault would be smart to start cashing in on its Formula One success with something other than a special-edition Clio or Megane before their racing prowess evaporates.

Management admits that previous upscale models from Renault have been less than successful, humorously referring to the dismal Vel Satis as “the automotive equivalent of wearing a suit without removing the hanger.” For a time, Renault had considered acquiring a premium brand for itself, but such ventures didn’t pan out, and apparently Infiniti, which came along with the Nissan acquisition, wasn’t enough to satiate Ghosn’s appetite for the upscale.

[Source: Just-Auto]

Renaultsport hatches Clio Renault F1 Team R27

350z_1_450.jpgFerrari wins world championships and it applies the knowledge to building a beast like the 599 GTB Fiorano. Renault wins the championship and they make… a supermini. But that’s cool, we remind ourselves, because everyone does what they do best, and nobody makes hot hatches like Renaultsport, the performance division that builds the F1 cars and the hottest of pocket rockets. Continue reading Renaultsport hatches Clio Renault F1 Team R27

Renault Laguna goes diesel

renault-laguna.jpgTHE Renault Laguna is back and the new-look model comes with a diesel engine only. There’s a pile of letters in Renault Australia’s Melbourne office that has been growing since the company returned here in 2001. They are from people who have driven its diesel cars in Europe, often as part of Renault’s own Eurodrive leasing program. “Why can’t we buy one here?” they ask. The new Laguna dCi means Renault can start replying — with good news. Continue reading Renault Laguna goes diesel

GM talks tough with Renault Nissan chief executives in alliance talks

nissan-renault.jpgGeneral Motors toughened its public stance on proposals that the U.S. carmaker join an alliance with Renault and its sister company, Nissan, adding to uncertainties weighing on the industry as the Paris Motor Show opens its doors Thursday.  For the first time, Detroit-based GM said clearly that it was unhappy with the plan on the table, as chief executive Rick Wagoner met for talks with Renault and Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn on the eve of the show. Continue reading GM talks tough with Renault Nissan chief executives in alliance talks