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There is so much talk of crises. It does one good, to take a look at one of the manufacturers, to find out more about the risks and the opportunities. Let's do a careful inventory of Renault.
This time we're not dealing with the history of Renault, but with the present, the year 2014. They operate worldwide and conduct various alliances or takeovers. Nissan and Dacia are two of the latter. Since 2010 they have been working closely with Daimler, even though they are bitter rivals on the Formula-1 circuits.
They offer, at least in the price-sensitive sector, a fairly comprehensive range. Thus, Renault is the largest importer in Germany. Indeed, the worldwide sales figures of 2,6 million units, is not much if compared with Toyota, GM and VW, who each sell about 9 million cars. In Germany, the range begins with the Dacia Sandero going for approx. € 7000.
Renault has an exceptionally good reputation for its light Diesel engines, however, if installed in the Dacia, they're asking at least € 10.000. Their good reputation can be justified by the fact that these engines have been chosen by Mercedes for their most reasonably priced versions.
They had helped Mercedes to cut their costs in other sections as well. Through the pooling of the Smart and the Twingo, the Germans have finally, once again obtained access to a four-seater version of the Smart. One should not however, try to make comparisons with the Dacia, since for the above mentioned € 10.000, one can get a family-van.
You will have noticed, that we're talking about the simplest petrol engine, and because we're on the subject of the van, then Renault is probably the company most steeped in tradition. Over the last 30 years, the Espace, of which 1,2 million have been sold, has been consequently further developed. On the other hand, the all-wheel drive section has been just as consequently ignored.
If they were not represented by Dacia with the Duster and Nissan with the Qashqai, the X-Trail and above all, the Pathfinder, they would have nothing to offer except the Captur, which only pretends to be one of those. Nonetheless, through their subsidiaries, the range of models is pretty well distributed and by and large, they have avoided in-house duplications.
|Hold on!, we almost forgot about the Koleos.|
As we've said, in the compact-class they are good, and e.g., with the Clio, well represented. How fortunate, that apart from the normal model, there are also the distinctly larger versions which carry the name add-ons 'Grand' or 'Grandtour'. The middle-class is also represented by the new Megane, which can also be had as a coupé.
As already mentioned, there is enough room available, because below the Espace there is also the Scenic and the Kangoo, of course, at least two models of each. The price however, is not always proportional to the useable volume. Indeed, the French manufacturers find it difficult to get into the upper-class range, above the Megane three Laguna, there is nothing.
The Traffic, on the other hand, a cooperation with General Motors, is in fact, the number 1 in Europe. Whereby, the limits for the respective utility vehicles are so close together, that almost each model is the best seller in its own range. However in the case of the Traffic or the Opel Vivaro, it can be clearly seen by the amount of them on the roads.
Also with Nissan, there are parallel models like the 'Primaster' and for the 'Master' the 'NV 400'. The comparable model from Opel is the 'Movano', which can be had with front- or rear-wheel drive, four different lengths, three different heights and three different wheelbases. They are however, in strong competition with the Fiat Ducato, built by the PSA concern.
Now it's time to deal with the electric-section, which is traditionally well served in France. Renault places a lot of value on the add-on name 'affordable', which can probably be applied to the Twizy. For those however, who also want to keep pace on the motorways, they are better served with the Zoé or the Kangoo Z.E. One doesn't hear much about the Fluence Z.E. with its replaceable battery anymore.
|Hold on!, we almost forgot about the Nissan Leaf.|
As we said before, Renault has multiple relationships. Only Dacia belongs wholly to the group, Nissan about half. Daimler has about 3% participation in Renault and Renault, about 1,5% in Daimler. Still, Renault and Nissan are planning a much closer union as far as platforms, engines and gearboxes are concerned.
Unfortunately, through the regulation changes in 2014, they couldn't follow up their magnificent results in Formula-1 sport. The Renault engine was blamed for this. At least in the Formula-E, Renault is particularly active. The reactivation of Alpine as a racing car manufacturer is also being considered. 08/14
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