The French automaker has released this week its new midsize flagship model, the Talisman, opting not just for a new generation of the flagship for private passenger vehicle customers, but also for a model name change from Laguna.
The Laguna midsize model, which has been at the top of its passenger car lineup for years in many markets (the Latitude, based on Korean model, has been limited to certain regions), showed a very feeble attitude in respect to the powerful German competition. The segment of the new Talisman has been dominated for years by luxury offerings from Mercedes or BMW and by mass-market representatives from Ford or Volkswagen. The new Talisman will reach the home market of France starting late this year and then will reach the rest of Europe north Africa and Turkey. “The market for these big road cars is about a million a year in Europe. There is no reason for Renault to be absent from the segment,” commented a representative during the model’s official unveiling, which took place in Chantilly, near Paris.
The main issue for Talisman is to write off the Laguna, which was first presented back in 1994. The first generation had major reliability problems and then the bad image persisted all the way to the third generation that was launched in 2007. The model was only delivered in 345,000 units since launch, with just 16,000 autos last year –after the first and second generations sold in 1.4 million and 1.1 million units, respectively.