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  1. Analysis
May 7, 2020

Alpine and Renault future models

The suspension of the dividend, a withdrawal of non-electric Renaults from a manufacturing JV in China, Group sales down by 26% and revenues by 19%, the company stating on 23 April that it will "communicate a new guidance as soon as it considers that it is in a position to do so": there has never been a time like the present for Groupe Renault (and all other car makers). Future model plans are being adjusted but many projects will still go ahead.

The suspension of the dividend, a withdrawal of non-electric Renaults from a manufacturing JV in China, Group sales down by 26% and revenues by 19%, the company stating on 23 April that it will “communicate a new guidance as soon as it considers that it is in a position to do so”: there has never been a time like the present for Groupe Renault (and all other car makers). Future model plans are being adjusted but many projects will still go ahead.

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  • The forces transitioning automotive to mobility services 
  • CASE megatrends, and their relationship with COVID-19 
  • The way forward for autonomous vehicles 
  • Sustainability issues in automotive 
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This report is the first in a series which examines the future vehicles of both Groupe Renault and Nissan Motor. First up: Alpine and Renault.

Alpine

Contrary to what normally happens to sports car sales from the second year of their life cycles, demand for the A110 only became stronger. Available in LHD markets since the final quarter of 2017, this deservedly successful little coupe had not only a great 2018 but deliveries more than doubled in 2019 to 4,431 cars in Europe and 4,835 worldwide.

Even before COVID-19 hit sales for all brands, the A110 was in trouble though, deliveries plunging to 67 cars in January versus 428 for the same month of 2018. February was worse (61) and we all know about March, which for Alpine meant a drop from 488 vehicles (March 2019) to 127. What happens now?

Obviously, it’s going to be a very tough remainder of 2020 for Alpine but there’s a good chance that buyers might return later in the year. What Renault had been very good at was making sure that the A110 remained the subject of conversations due to there being regular bits and pieces of news. The latest was announced in March, this being the Légende GT, an edition of 400 cars. Next up could be a roadster body style in 2021 to coincide with a facelift for the coupe. A new generation seems likely for 2024.

Groupe Renault really needs to start building on the achievements of the A110 by adding one or more Alpines. Its priorities are suddenly now instead centred on keeping spending down and prioritising essential vehicle programmes (i.e. ones which have the best chance of bringing in lots of revenue). Against that backdrop, the rumoured plans for a D segment SUV in the style of the Porsche Macan might not see the light of day until perhaps 2023 or 2024.

It would be a pity if what has been a textbook revival and reinvention of Alpine begins to unravel. Hopefully that won’t happen and Renault will find low cost ways to get sales of the A110 rising or at least steady once more, and then build from there.

Renault crossovers & SUVs

Renault will soon be launching a sub-4m long front-wheel drive SUV mainly for the Indian market. Although some thought it would be called ‘Climber’, the name of a Kwid-based concept which debuted at the 2016 New Delhi auto expo, it will apparently be badged ‘Kiger‘. The life cycle will probably be seven years although as the basic vehicle is fairly aged, it might only be around for three-six years.

The second generation Captur is again manufactured in Spain, but not in China as in April, the Renault handed over its share of the DRAC joint venture to Dongfeng Motor. Like the original model, the latest generation of this small crossover shares its architecture with the contemporary Renault Clio. Details of the non-PHEV Captur variants can be found in PLDB: please see the link at the end of this report.

The Captur E-Tech Plug-in features a turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and two motors. The capacity of the battery pack is 9.8 kWh, the top speed in EV mode is 135 km/h and the maximum range (WLTP) is 50 km. The standard transmission is a CVT. The start of sales of this model will lag that of other Capturs by some six months: the car will be available to order from the end of this quarter. The car itself was a world premiere at the Brussels motor show in January but due to COVID-19, deliveries likely won’t now commence until perhaps September (Renault is yet to state when the first customers will have their PHEV Capturs).

The older, B0 (officially, B-Zero) architecture Captur (Kaptur in some countries) is a 4,333 mm long SUV which is built and sold mainly in Russia, India and Brazil. It was announced in March 2016 and Renault’s Moscow plant was the first to build it, production starting up four months later.

The Kaptur is not related to the first generation Captur that was built in Europe, even though it looks virtually identical to that model. The major difference, apart from size – the Kaptur is longer – is that the Captur was on a newer architecture, Alliance A. Confusingly, India and Brazil’s models are sold as the Captur. Like the Kaptur, these are based on the B0 platform. The built-in-India Captur went on sale there in November 2017.

A facelift for Russia’s Kaptur was announced in March. At the same time, a 150 PS version of the Alliance and Daimler’s 1,330cc turbo petrol engine – TCe 150 – became available. Renault also says that the platform was updated to B0+ (‘B-Zero Plus’) spec. The newer Captur which has been around in Europe since late last year and which uses the Alliance A architecture, will probably replace the old-tech B0+ model at relevant production facilities around 2023.

China’s Renault Brilliance joint venture is mainly for light commercials but it now also makes SUVs. The first of these, codenamed F70, went into production in April 2019 and is called Viewpoint. This 4,745 mm long model can seat up to seven occupants and offers the choice of 1.6-litre normally aspirated or 1.5-litre turbocharged engines. More details can be found in PLDB.

The Shenyang-based JV’s official name is Renault Brilliance Jinbei Automotive Co., Ltd. Groupe Renault is the junior partner with 49%, Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Limited (Brilliance China) controlling the remainder.

An electric model around the same size as the Kadjar, and which might be called Morphoz, is being developed. The vehicle in question might even be a plug-in version of the second generation Kadjar. The company believes such a model will need a real world range of 500 km. The architecture will be CMF-EV. The Morphoz (see pic), an electric concept which was revealed online in March after the cancellation of the Geneva motor show, was the first vehicle to use CMF-EV. This model is expected to be manufactured in France, potentially at the Douai plant.

Renault Cars

Even though the Zoe has been in production for almost seven and a half years, it will be a further two before the second generation model arrives. Some of that comes down to budget cuts, but with sales constantly rising (until April of course), does Renault need to replace it any time soon? Unlike, say, the Leaf, it’s also the right size for a lot of people who would prefer a small EV rather than a Golf-sized one. The looks are also said to be a major selling point although the interior is dated.

The eventual successor should use the Alliance’s CMF-EV, which will stretch from the B to D segments. This architecture CMF-EV was revealed to the media as part of Renault’s October 2017 presentation of its Drive The Future plan.

Zoe deux may also be exported to South Korea or assembled there too, while there could be an RS (RenaultSport) version. Meanwhile, Mitsubishi Motors should have a version of this car, although it would have its own body.

The fifth generation Clio had its world premiere at the Geneva motor show in March 2019. Available only as a 4,048 mm long five-door hatchback, this was the first Renault for the Alliance’s CMF-B architecture.

The main production sites are Bursa in Turkey and Novo Mesto in Slovakia. Flins, which also made the previous model, builds the car in relatively small volume (<25,000/annum) on a CKD basis. The French plant should instead increasingly become a site for the production of ever more electric vehicles and in high volumes.

The Alpine plant in Dieppe will again make the as yet unannounced Clio R.S. There should also be a version with raised suspension so as to compete with the Hyundai i20 Active and Ford Fiesta Active but there won’t be a successor for the Clio Estate, that segment having greatly shrunk.

Please click on the link to PLDB at the end of this report for information concerning the new Clio E-Tech, which is the hybrid. Both models’ expected life cycle details can also be seen there.

In yet another attempt to sprinkle some motorsport magic dust on the Mégane, Renault announced the limited production R.S. Trophy-R last July (500 cars, deliveries commencing in December 2019). While it has the same power and torque as the Trophy, the removal of the back seat and other changes mean a 130 kg weight loss.

A facelifted Mégane range was announced in February. As part of the changes, the R.S. gains the 220 kW (300 hp) 1.8-litre turbo engine which had formerly been reserved for the Trophy (and Alpine A110). Torque is 400 Nm with manual transmission or 430 Nm with the EDC gearbox. The updated range won’t become available for deliveries until August or September. For details of the new PHEV Mégane, see the link to PLDB below.

What should in theory be one of the best selling Renaults if not the number model has been a major disappointment, especially when compared to the VW Golf with which it competes (not terribly successfully). The current generation has been in production since November 2015 and likely only has two-three years left. Given how poorly the current model has been received outside France, it is by no means guaranteed that there will be a fifth generation Mégane. Renault does quite well with the Kadjar in the C-SUV segment and has multiple EVs coming – several of them in this size class – so a potential Mégxit wouldn’t be the end of the world.

The Talisman was Renault’s replacement for the Laguna and Latitude/Safrane. Both sedan and estate are 4.85 m long, 1.87 m wide and 1.46 m tall, and the four-door’s boot capacity is an enormous 608 litres. The reversing camera is in the centre of the Renault diamond on the bootlid, with the boot release button hidden under the fifth letter of the TALISMAN badge.

All Renault-badged cars are built in France at Georges Besse (Douai). The Laguna was manufactured at Sandouville but this facility was retooled to produce light commercials. The Talisman is also manufactured in South Korea but this is a slightly restyled variant, the Samsung SM6. That car is far more successful than the Renault manages to be in Europe.

Production of the sedan (LFD) commenced in September 2015, with the wagon (KFD) following two months later. A facelifted line-up was announced in February and the all-four-cylinder turbo engine line-up has become:

  • 160 hp & 270 Nm 1.3-litre petrol TCe 160, seven-speed dual-clutch transmission
  • 225 hp & 300 Nm 1.8-litre petrol TCe 225, seven-speed dual-clutch
  • 120 hp 1.7-litre diesel Blue dCi, six-speed manual
  • 150 hp 1.7-litre diesel Blue dCi, six-speed manual
  • 160 hp 2.0-litre diesel Blue dCi, six-speed dual-clutch
  • 200 hp 2.0-litre diesel Blue dCi, six-speed dual-clutch

The future Talisman should be in dealerships from the third quarter of 2022. It will most likely be based on CMF-C/D. Without a next generation Samsung SM6, the company simply could not make a business case for a replacement model series.

Reports for many other manufacturers’ future models are grouped in the OEM product strategy summaries section of just-auto.com.

Future platform intelligence

More detail on past, current and forthcoming models can be found in PLDB, the future vehicles database which is part of GlobalData’s Automotive Intelligence Center.

The next brand to be featured as part of the Groupe Renault and Nissan Motor series will be Dacia. This will be followed by RSM (Renault Samsung Motors), Lada, Mitsubishi, Infiniti, Datsun, Venucia and Nissan.

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What's next for the Automotive industry?

The theory of the peak car – particularly in the triad markets of the US, West Europe and Japan – and the need for sustainable transportation have driven the pivot to mobility in the automotive industry. Both of these drivers are motivating OEMs to change, while society at large is interested in sustainable transport.    GlobalData’s forward-looking report provides you with insights into the direction that the automotive industry is heading in the next few years. It covers: 
  • The forces transitioning automotive to mobility services 
  • CASE megatrends, and their relationship with COVID-19 
  • The way forward for autonomous vehicles 
  • Sustainability issues in automotive 
Examine the factors contributing to the future growth of different segments of the automotive industry.   Download the full report to align your strategies for success and get ahead of the competition.  
by GlobalData
Enter your details here to receive your free Report.

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