Renault is thinking about launching a new premium brand, which is named ‘Initiale Paris’. If this plan proceeds, the automaker will then have to build its business through four marques, using Dacia as a value brand. French newspaper Les Echos said that Renault as the mainstream brand and Initiale Paris and Alpine as niche premium and sporting brands.
This move may lead to the creation of Citroën’s successful DS sub-brand and would give Renault an opportunity to ride on the success of French premium luxury goods in the big Chinese market. Chief operating officer Carlos Tavares said that a decision on the new plan will be made towards the end of the year. Renault first used the ‘Initiale’ name by Renault for a 1995 luxury concept car.
This paved the way to Renault’s ill-fated attempt to launch itself upmarket at the turn of the century, a move that began with the Avantime and the unsuccessful Vel Satis. Early this year Tavares was quoted as saying that Renault’s premium car would be based on a Mercedes E-class platform and will have a Renault-designed body and interior.
There’s no news on a source for the longitudinally mounted engines such a car would require, although Infiniti, part of the Renault-Nissan group, currently uses longitudinally mounted Nissan powertrains.
Renault is likely to get access to the current E-class platform, which is due to be replaced by Mercedes’ new modular architecture. The first Mercedes based on the new platform will be the 2013 C-class, suggesting that any new ‘Initiale Paris’ model would not arrive before the first half of 2015.
Mercedes and Renault have a number of ongoing collaborations. The 1.5-litre diesel engine used in the A-class and B-class is French-sourced, and there are plans to build the next-generation Renault Twingo and Smart Forfour on the same platform at Renault’s plant in Slovenia.
Renault launched Initiale Paris, the 6th concept car in the style strategy spearheaded by Laurens van den Acker. Combining technical knowledge with creative genius, the new concept car gives a peek to the Espace replacement in an Initiale Paris interpretation and represents the brand's skill and futuristic ideas in the premium class.
Renault's "life cycle" style strategy is composed of the experiences of its clients as they discover the world, play, fall in love, work, and gain wisdom. The strategy stems from a dramatic styling language that is basic, warm and sensual in equal divisions.
FROM PASSION TO RENEWAL: A COMPLETE DESIGN CYCLE
It is not common to see a brand feature six concept cars all together on its stand. By doing this, Renault is conveying the completion of a cycle and the triumph of its style reimagination. The exhibition brings every life stage into account by giving visitors a number of simple keys to easier understand the brand's approach.
Renault builds cars for each life stage. From this idea, a design strategy was conceived based on a goal to instill powerful connections with their customers.
The six "petals" in the life cycle have now been unveiled:
• Love: Life begins when a person fall in love, a building block expressed by DeZir.
• Explore: Then follows the time to explore the globe as partners with the Captur crossover.
• Family: After that, you build a family, with R-Space, representing the minivan and family vehicle.
• Work: Life is mostly about professional tasks, with the Frendzy light commercial car, and the linked leisure moments.
• Play: Then there are also the fun and good times, in the form of the Twin'Z and Twin'Run concept cars.
• Wisdom: Eventually, everyone wants peace and serenity, a moment when they can maximize living. The Renault Initiale Paris concept car, being launched at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, portrays open-mindedness and the comfort and sensations linked with a premium car.