Doubts over Renault Laguna and Espace return

20 Jun, 2013 5:34pm Graham Hope

All-new Renault Laguna and Espace models are in development, but the manufacturer's chief is coy over their UK return

The Renault Laguna and Espace could be gone for good from Britain.

The pair were axed from UK showrooms in December 2011, as Renault UK culled its range of cars and reduced the number of dealers in an effort to return to profitability.

Now new models of both are being developed, which will benefit from the new Renault-Nissan CMF modular architecture. But chief operating officer Carlos Tavares refused to confirm they will come back here.

“The decision will be made by [UK boss] Ken Ramirez. But in the past we have had too many cars, and it can be counter-productive,” explained Tavares.

Tavares is confident about the quality of the new cars, but concerned that Renault will not have the budget to market its entire range effectively in Britain.

“If you fragment your marketing resources, you are going to be invisible in the marketplace,” he explained. “You may have a great car, but nobody knows about it.”

He admitted, though, that dealers were keen to see the bigger models return, and have seen them already. “Yes, there is demand. We always show them [the cars] three years ahead of launch.”

A concept of the Espace – described as a mix of SUV and MPV, and coloured purple –will appear at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, alongside a facelifted Megane.

Tavares added that Renault is aiming to return a profit in the UK this year, after the drastic measures of 2011.