Renault has scrapped a project to build a luxury car based on the Mercedes E-class platform. Renault had wanted to sell this car for its new 'Initiale Paris' luxury sub-brand and with a starting price of £40,000. Last week, Renault CEO Carlos Tavares said that Renault had not yet come up with a business model with a tie-up with Mercedes that is likely to succeed.
However, he said that Renault will continue to pursue partnering with Mercedes for luxury vehicles. When Tavares was interviewed by Autocar at the recently held Geneva motor show, he said that it will take the initial steps to launching the Initiale Paris luxury brand next year, even if an E-class-based car wasn’t anymore being developed as its ‘halo’ model.
Initiale Paris will take inspiration from how much of an expert the French are on luxury goods. Initially, it will be launched as a trim level for current models. The first to arrive will be the Clio in 2014. This will be followed by the Espace. After a series of new models get launched and if they’re successful, this will lead to the creation of a sub-brand.
Tavares said that it’s not expected to be launched soon and that it will take “a long, long time” to be established and to grow it to become a true premium brand. He also said that his successor will have to deal with it later.
According to Renault’s design chief Laurens van den Acker, the first designs for the Clio and Espace were now nearly complete. He also said that they’d have to be patient and launch the sub-brand when the time is right.