Renault is postponing the launch of its Zoe electric vehicles until 2013 so that it doesn’t affect the recent launch of the new Clio.

Renault chief operating officer Carlos Tavares said the delay is related to the eurozone economic crisis, which has resulted in Renault having too many new products launching at the same time.

“I will turn over the keys to the first Zoe by the end of the year,” Tavares said, adding that if one launch follows another too closely, “we lose the power of the launch for marketing and commercialization.”

The fourth-generation Clio, which has already reached dealerships, is a high-volume conventional car able to provide a healthy margin during the launch period, even in an ultra-competitive B-segment. The Zoe, on the other hand, „is the first car conceived from A to Z as an electric car,” as Tavares puts it.

Similarly sized to the Clio, the Zoe is praised by Renault’s COO, who says „it is almost impossible to go back to internal combustion after driving it”. „We are confident in its success and impatient to launch it,” Tavares adds.

However, it will be a long time before the Zoe will make money for Renault, which is currently Clio’s job. Instead, it will help Renault become Europe’s EV leader.


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