Renault plans two upscale brands to increase sales image

Renault SA (RNO) is planning to introduce two upscale brands and further expanding in emerging markets to decrease the automaker’s reliance on Europe’s shrinking volume car market.

The French automaker may revive Alpine brand to offer sports cars and create another high-end brand to sell luxury models, most probably the ‘Initiale Paris’, Chief Operating Officer Carlos Tavares said.

“You need to be competitive across the world,” Tavares said. “That’s why we have been managing the change from a European-focused company toward a global carmaker.”

Similar to the respective DS line and newly established ‘8’ series of models from French rivals Citroen and Peugeot, the new premium models from Renault would be targeted primarily at the growing number of wealthy customers in markets such as China and India.

However, to be successful, the automaker would need to work with another automaker, like Mercedes-Benz, to help spread the level of investment required to develop the new models.

If the plan will succeed, Renault will operate four brands in total: Dacia, Renault offering volume cars with more options, Alpine as the sports-car make and the Initiale Paris insignia becoming the luxury brand.
Renault will set some space between its models and the Dacia brand, going closer with its prices to Volkswagen, considering the German automaker a main rival.

French new car orders declined in May after two months of relative stability, according to a dealership survey, casting further doubt on hopes for a market recovery in the second half of the year.

The French market declined more than threefold by 16.2 per cent to 165,691 cars, according to ACEA.