Renault is developing an upscale car that will be built on a platform from Daimler's Mercedes-Benz as it aims to expand its high-end product lineup. This project is still in the early stages. At the moment, Renault is examining if a Mercedes-based model would be a viable product, according to Chief Operating Officer Carlos Tavares.
He said that the Mercedes-based vehicle is the third upscale model planned. Tavares said, "It is about using their platform and designing a Renault upper body to extend to it what I might call the French touch.” CEO Carlos Ghosn said that production of the Mercedes E class-based model would be "concentrated" in France.
In a separate briefing, Ghosn said that having least one vehicle on a Daimler platform “will help us." He explained that Renault can’t charge higher prices with just the Daimler platform since it would still depend on the specs of the car. Tavares said that Renault is planning a new generation of its Espace minivan for 2014.
This will be followed by a new upscale sedan that will replace the Laguna mid-sized model. Renault and Daimler have been tentatively growing the partnership they revealed in 2010 to share the development and output of small cars and engines.
As part of this tie-up, Renault will make a four-seat model for Daimler subsidiary Smart in Novo Mesto, Slovenia. The new Smart and the next-generation Renault Twingo minicar will share this platform. These two models are set to launch in 2013. [source: Bloomberg]