Advertisement

"French car makers can offer a sense of style that German brands probably never will"

The Citroen C4 Cactus has led way for new breed of stylish French cars now a new Renault 5 is following suit

Opinion: French cars style

I remember many years ago a conversation with Carlos Ghosn, boss of the Renault Nissan Alliance, about how he wanted Renault to be known for its quality. We were talking about the new Laguna and particularly its smart key that would continue to work even if you left it in your pocket and your trousers went through the wash!

Advertisement - Article continues below

My point to Ghosn back then was that a certain level of quality was a given, but surely French car makers had something else to offer as well – a sense of style that German manufacturers have never offered, and probably never will.

The Renault 5 is back!

That’s certainly something another Carlos believes in, Peugeot/Citroen boss Carlos Tavares. This year marks the new beginning for the DS brand, sitting above Citroen and Peugeot and aiming, in the long term, straight at Audi

It’s the French sense of style, so famous among the world’s leading fashion brands, that he hopes will be able to challenge the very best Germany has to offer. And yes, with the level of quality buyers of premium cars expect, too.

But what about buyers of cheaper models? We’re already seeing great strides from Peugeot – the latest 308 offers near-Golf levels of quality – then there’s the brilliant Citroen C4 Cactus, one of the most innovative new models of recent years. Its success will ensure more super-stylish, budget-orientated Citroens arrive in the coming years.

Which brings us back to Renault. Style is definitely back on the agenda as we’ve seen with the new Twingo, tested this week. And now we’ve uncovered plans for Renault to take a leaf out of the Cactus’s book with a funky, back-to-basics new hatch in the mould of the Renault 5. It’s Renault doing what it does best – affordable, stylish cars.

Do you think style can become a unique sellinging point for French cars again? Will it be enough to trump German quality? Join the debate on Twitter, on Facebook or in in the comments section below... 

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

Concept to reality: Renault Coupéspace to Renault Avantime
Renault

Concept to reality: Renault Coupéspace to Renault Avantime

We track the design process of the 2001 Renault Avantime from its conceptual roots
6 Jul 2020
Future of Alpine to be examined as part of Renault cost cutting measures
Alpine A110 front
Renault

Future of Alpine to be examined as part of Renault cost cutting measures

Renault restructuring means it is Impossible to maintain the status-quo at Alpine, according to group Chairman
29 May 2020
Renault to cut 15,000 jobs
Renault

Renault to cut 15,000 jobs

French car maker announces huge wave global redundancies as part of €2bn savings package; eight per cent of workforce lost
29 May 2020
Renault-Nissan Alliance launches cost-saving initiative
Renault

Renault-Nissan Alliance launches cost-saving initiative

Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi have confirmed a rigorous cost-saving scheme, which will save the Alliance a total of £1.8 billion
27 May 2020

Most Popular

SEAT Leon vs Volkswagen Golf vs Ford Focus
Family hatchbacks

SEAT Leon vs Volkswagen Golf vs Ford Focus

The Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf and SEAT Leon are all long established hatchbacks - we find out which is best among the latest crop
11 Jul 2020
New Skoda Octavia vRS 2020 ride review
Skoda Octavia vRS Hatchback

New Skoda Octavia vRS 2020 ride review

We get our first taste of 242bhp Skoda Octavia vRS with Skoda tech development boss Christian Strube in the driver’s seat
10 Jul 2020
Suzuki Jimny axed from Europe over emissions regulations
Suzuki Jimny - off road
Suzuki Jimny

Suzuki Jimny axed from Europe over emissions regulations

Tightening emissions rules mean the Suzuki Jimny will be pulled from the European market in the coming months
8 Jul 2020