Renault mulls introducing two upscale brands and expanding into emerging markets to cut its reliance on Europe's dwindling volume car market, according to Chief Operating Officer Carlos Tavares. In an interview with Bloomberg, Tavares said Renault may revive its Alpine marque to offer sports cars as well as another high-end brand to sell luxury models.
Tavares said they are now moving to change Renault from a European-focused company into a global carmaker. The company is planning to offer four brands in its lineup: Dacia for no-frills autos, Renault for volume cars, Alpine for sports cars, and the Initiale Paris for luxury vehicles.
The company currently offers no luxury brand and its most expensive car, the large minivan Espace, has a base price (EUR35,100) that is less than half the price tag set for Audi A8 (EUR78,780).
Tavares said in February that Renault is in the early phases of developing an upscale car built on a Mercedes E class platform.
This effectively extended a partnership deal between Renault and Daimler in 2010, which involves to pool development and production of small cars and engines. In a report in May, local daily Les Echos disclosed that Renault will decide on the Initial Paris and Alpine sub-brands by the end of 2012.
Should Renault proceed to introduce the new brands, the company would have to deal with slumping sales in Western Europe, which accounts for around 65 percent of the carmaker’s revenues in 2011.
Industry association ACEA expects car deliveries in Western Europe to drop 7 percent in 2012, with consumers trying not to spend too much over concerns the sovereign debt crisis will spread.