Renault is about to make an announcement related to high-end models, French Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg said in an interview with BFM-TV, RMC and Le Point. He said that they will create four upmarket models as they now intend to put up a fight against its rivals. A spokesman wouldn’t elaborate, saying only that Renault has only decided on the next generation of the Espace beginning in 2014.
He said that in the short term, the major steps include the Clio 4 and the Zoe. Mazda hired new style chief Laurens van den Acker three years ago to make the brand more exciting. The fourth-generation Clio, a "faux-coupe" five-door car that appears like a sportier three-door, is van den Acker’s first complete design. Renault is planning to launch the Zoe electric car by the end of this year.
Last July, Renault Chief Operating Officer Carlos Tavares provided confirmation to Automotive News Europe that Renault may launch an upscale subbrand, Initiale Paris. Tavares said that the first phase of the launch would involve Renault giving premium content to its volume models to form a subbrand similar to go up against Citroen's upscale DS range.
At a later period, the automaker would create specific models for a stand-alone brand, similar to what alliance partner Nissan has accomplished with its Infiniti luxury marque. [source: Automotive News - sub. required]