Renault launches a convertible version this month for its new Megane range in hopes of building on its sales momentum. This model will have features that will help in the rivalry against Peugeot, Volkswagen and Ford.
The Megane Coupe-Cabriolet is the sixth and final version of the new Megane family. Previous versions include a hatchback, coupe, sedan and the Scenic and Grand Scenic minivans.
To give it a shot against the likes of the Volkswagen Eos and the Peugeot 308 CC, Renault added features to it such as a larger electric panoramic folding glass roof and a more reactive power steering system. Renault said that last year in Europe, the annual market for this class of open-top coupes was nearly 100,000 units.
Nicolas Peant, a Renault product manager, revealed to Automotive News Europe that Renault aims for its Megane convertible to get in the top three in its segment by the end of 2011.
The Megane convertible is considered a niche product but the four-seater is expected to widen the Megane family's overall market share in Europe in the compact segment.
Renault said that older versions of the convertible stood for 4% of the Megane family sales and 10% of Western Europe's compact convertible 2009 sales.
Peant added that the Megane series still delivers higher margins than Renault's smaller Twingo and Clio models. Last year, Renault sold 463,000 Megane-based models worldwide, compared to 452,000 units in 2008.
It was late in 2008 that the new Megane range was launched. The Megane convertible is available with six gasoline and diesel engine options including a 2.0-liter gasoline engine with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Renault asserts that this CVT is a first for the latest-generation Megane range.