Axe falls on Renault line-up

Renault Laguna
19 Dec, 2011 2:00pm Jack Rix

Array of models are to be dropped as poor sales hit hard, with annual figures down by 50,000 in only five years

Renault is trimming the fat from its UK line-up, following plummeting sales figures over the last few years. From February, no fewer than five models will be axed, leaving some notable gaps in the range.

Top of the chops are the Laguna hatch, Sport Tourer and Coupe. Also disappearing will be the Espace and Grand Espace, Modus and Grand Modus, Wind roadster and Kangoo passenger car. Collectively, these make up nearly 10 per cent of Renault’s total UK sales.

A source revealed there will be no direct replacements for the Modus, Laguna or Espace families. Renault is working on small, medium and large crossovers to take their places, although it has not yet been decided if the larger models will go on sale in Britain.

First to arrive will be a supermini-SUV in 2013, to complement the new Clio range, while the larger crossovers will debut a year later.

The Wind and Kangoo have sold poorly and will be dropped altogether, even though the Wind only launched 18 months ago.

A host of new models will arrive next year, but Renault is admitting the cuts will hurt sales figures, with a significant drop from this year's 75,000 predicted for 2012, but a subsequent rise in 2013.

In addition, the company is set to reduce its dealer network by around a third from 190 at present to 135 by the start of 2013.

According to a Renault spokesman, the drastic measures are part of a plan to push the brand upmarket and increase profitability. With its budget arm Dacia launching in the UK next year, Renault now has the chance to focus on “sexier and sportier” products, and leave traditional models behind.

Clio heads new arrivals

It's not all doom and gloom, however. Nine new Renault and Dacia models will appear next year. The most important arrival is the fourth-generation Clio, on sale in November. It will be joined by a supermini-SUV in 2013, inspired by the Captur concept.

The facelifted Twingo, Scenic and Megane go on sale in January, February and April respectively, while the Twizy EV arrives in March. The Fluence Z.E. and Zoe Z.E. go on sale in May and October, and the firm’s Dacia budget brand arrives here in December, with the Duster SUV and Sandero hatch.

From February, all cars will come with Renault 4+, a four-year/100,000-mile warranty with four years’ free roadside assistance and servicing plus the option of four years of zero per cent finance.

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I am not surprised at Renault dropping the Modus; for a small car in a sector of the market filled with economical cars (some capable of 80mpg) its petrol-engined version is a joke with a fuel consumption of less than 40mpg. If anyone is looking for a frugal motor, this is surely the first car to be dropped from the list. The same mediocre consumption figures are true throughout the petrol-engined models. And before anyone counters that the diesel-engined cars are really frugal, I admit this is true, but they all come at a hefty premium and are not often available in automatic versions which would be what a lot of drivers of 'city' cars would want.

Renault should cut back its development of electric-powered vehicles (which are nowhere near ready to offer a viable alternative to petrol/diesel powered cars) and follow the Citroen/Kia/Mazda example of making petrol engined cars more frugal.

A shame they're abandoning the Laguna.

The mk1 was a real workhorse. I did like the look of the latest one, especially the coupe. If only they could've nailed down the reliability and ride quality.

Looks like they're going to be like sister company Nissan, selling several size of SUV crossover things which seem to leave dents in smaller cars in car parks.

First, I simply adore the Modus (and its Grand version as well) which is a lovely big little car. Unfortunately its petrol engines are the Modus' dark side. While Renault F1 engines are on the highest end of the top racing series, Renault's mass production petrol engines are pretty much in the midfield of the market. Just as was the case in the past. Frugal power to Seb Vettel instead to the people?
Just as I love Modus, I simply dislike the crossover breed. On one side I think it demonstrates that many buyers don't really analyze their needs and skip the thinking process. For a manufacturer, I think crossovers show that the brand is unable to do a decent engineering and marketing job with conventional car types and thus venture into areas where "anything goes" as long as it looks sort of fancy. Misleading bluffs to pump profit from mislead suckers.

Over the years, Renault has produced cars that are unusual, safe and - in some cases - ahead of their time. The current range, however, lacks style and desirability, so it's no surprise to see them cut the range down to the big sellers.
The company should use the money it saves to design a new generation of Renaults that avoid the bland looks and dull driving experience of the cars it currently produces.
We need to see radical designs again - it's worked for Citroen. Revisit the Avantime, the A110 and A610 Alpines, the Renault 17 or even the Fuego. Put some spark into the designs and watch the punters form a queue to buy them.

Maybe if bits stopped dropping off?

The French do make good cars. TOYOTA! Need one say more.

The only way of summing up Renaults line up of cars is ''Lack luster"
They remind me so much of British leyland.
Maybe its time for a cull of their senior management.

If my experience is anything to go by then the anticipated 10% drop in their car sales should equate to a 1,000% drop in breakdowns - per year! Anyone who needs to travel should avoid doing so in a Renault.

Can't say I'm surprised about some of the cull. I've seen one Wind model on the road and one pre-reg car in a dealership. As for the Laguna, the styling does look a bit awkward IMO. Presumably the cost of RHD conversion isn't justified if they don't sell, although I was quite looking forward to Renault's re-interpretation of the 5. That, at least, looked like it would be worth buying. I've driven a Clio recently which, at 25k miles, felt like new, so Renault can make some good cars. My own 1985 5TSE was a lovely car, reliable and well equipped. I also had a 14TS in the 80's......but that's another story!!!

What do you expect when you produce ugly, unreliable cars built by communists with the help of illegal government grants?

wind up the window... handle comes off
Check the oil..... Dip stick brakes in the block
Turn up the heat ... The flimsy thing brakes
Adjusting the seat is a big no no ....
VAVA vooooooooooooooooooooooooovvvM

Renault need to provide a decent, reliable, 4 wheel drive vehicle or range of vehicles.... If they could do this at an affordable price, it may improve the sales prospects. They should check the weather here now & again!.... & the Koleos, it was hideous & too small.

I have had 3 Renaults in the past and would never consider another one. Items such as brake pads and discs, exhausts, suspension components and especially ignition coils (3 within an 8 month period on a Clio and 2 on a Scenic) all wear out prematurely, normally within the first 3 years of ownership. None past an MOT first time without a string of faults. This makes them expensive cars to run. In complete contrast I previously owned a 2003 Vauxhall Corsa for 6 years from nearly new and the only items (apart from tyres) that required replacing were front and rear brake pads and a cv joint over 75,000 miles. I currently own a 2006 Toyota Verso that I have had since new. Despite showing 66,000 miles, front and rear brakes pads are all that's been replaced and it has sailed through 3 MOTs. Renault just can't compete.

I'm now on my third Renault (a Megane Sport Tourer) and have to disagree with many of those readers that describe the Renault brand as either unreliable or boring.
My Megane (15 months old now, and bought from new) has been utterly reliable despite piling the miles on in all conditions.
This can't be said of the Audis driven by my two 'brand-concious' colleagues... they're expensive to run and have been plagued with niggling faults and a string of dire rogue dashboard warning lights.
Their experiences with the Audi dealer network has been well-short of positive. In contrast I've only once had to visit my Renault dealer... to collect a protective boot mat I'd ordered!
As for stating that Renault's are boring... look in the average office car park, at the near unbroken swathe of German cars... a corporate 'nothingness' of uniformity!
A car park full of clones. That's boring, my friends.
Me... I'm an individual. I like Renaults, whether they're built by 'communists' or not!
Heck, I even like Fiats, Peugeots, Volvos, SAABs and Alfas!

I acquired a new Laguna Coupe Monaco GP earlier this year (I run a leasing brokerage and so got a great deal) and I have to say that it is a lovely car. A little different to all the so-so A5's, fantastic specification and a head turner.

I had always been sceptical of French cars although I was fully aware that they had taken steps to improve both the quality and reliability of their models, and so when the offer of this car came up I really couldn't resist it. I like the fact that I am very unlikely to find myself parked alongside an identical car almost anywhere except at a 'Laguna Coupe Convention'!

If only most people could see beyond their badge snobbery and prejudices they'd have found a stylish alternative to the German look-a-likes.

Im glad they have dumped the Modus, Ugly stupid looking vehicle. Same goes for the ugly looking Kangoo passenger car thing.

To see how formerly brilliant cars like the Laguna has been so mercilessly decontented to oblivion, so bland and uninspiring the very last models have become compared to the very first, it stumps me how these latter models ever got sactioned into production at all. Remember the bizarre story about the Twingo (had to be redesigned so ugly was it)? The Line up is okay and ought to be saved, just sack the lousy designers and/or whoever sanctions the stupid designs.

the kangoo and the modus are hideous. Would be nice if they just axe the whole renault range.

I remember reading once that in the future they'd be only two or three car manufacturers left in the world. While I don't think that will come to pass, I think a few manufacturers need to wake up and smell the coffee if you make a series of unreliable cars then it will take years before you loose that reputation - look at BL in the 70's through to Rover/MG. Renault are also suffering from this, I've never driven any of their current range but I did buy a Megane in 2004 which within a year had to have entire wiring loom replaced due to rear electric windows failing, a failed lamda sensor, the rain sensor in the windscreen packed up and finally the car would randomly refuse to start only to start perfectly the next morning. Sorry but it has nothing to do with badge quality - I'm spending my own money here and i'm not risking it on a Renault - It was the last new car I bought I replaced it with a second hand Seat which I'm still using today 7 years on... Only now thinking about a replacement and it wont be a Renault

I owned Renault Megane Sport Tourer for 2 years.

In 2 years, I have made more than dozen of visit to various Renault dealers to sort out problems.
In the end, I gave up.

3 out of 4 glow plug failed ;
Rear wheel bearing worn out prematurely ;
Rear Coil spring snapped ;
Rear wheel alignment out of spec, resulted in tyre worn out prematurely ;
2 set of tyre(15,000miles per set) ;
Boot latch failed ;
Constant dashboard rattling ;
Knocking noise from front wheel ;
New front brake disc and pad (Under 30,000 miles) ;
No DIY headlight bulb change due to engine compartment design flaw and
Something else but I can’t remember

French design + Spanish built = No thanks

I absolutely love my Grand Modus (and previously normal sized version). For those of us who are very tall but want a smallish car, it has excellent interior space and is easy to handle. The fuel consumption (diesel) is outstanding. I am devastated that it is being discontinued.

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