Renault and Daimler team up to develop new high-end model

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 6, 2012

Renault is teaming up with Daimler subsidiary Mercedes-Benz on a new high-end model. Renault is hoping that its strategic partnership with Daimler will aid it in resolving its long-time difficulties in selling its high-end cars. According to Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn, Renault is thinking about utilizing Mercedes modules to build a high-end model for the future.

The CEO declined to reveal which Mercedes modules it would use, but the companies already have agreements in place to share platforms and powertrains. A Renault spokeswoman also declined to offer more details about the modules Renault would use.

Renault and alliance partner Nissan formed their partnership with Daimler in 2010.Renault plans to launch replacements for its Espace, Laguna, and Vel Satis high-end models beginning in 2014.

A Renault source told Automotive News Europe that the successor of the Espace’s successor is the first of three that will make their debut.

But in a recent radio interview, Ghosn said that he recognizes Renault's difficulties in the high-end market. He said that the company has learned from its “past mistakes” and is prepared to apply them. The present flagship model of Renault is the Latitude.

It had been the temporary replacement for the Vel Satis, which Renault launched in 2001 but discontinued in 2009 because of poor sales. Market researcher JATO Dynamics said that in the large-car segment in Europe, Latitude sales put it at No. 3, behind Skoda Superb and Subaru Legacy/Outback.

Renault subsidiary Samsung Motors assembles the Latitude in Korea. It sold 10,719 units in 2011. Carlos Da Silva, an analyst for IHS Automotive, said that working with Mercedes may help Renault offer a premium model that could make it profitable.

Da Silva said that if this model fails, it means that Renault would probably not be able to afford the investment needed to deliver a model for upper-end car customers who didn’t find the Vel Satis to be appealing. [source: AutoWeek]

Topics: renault, daimler

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