Renault’s new Twingo will arrive in the UK from the autumn. All Twingos are now being built at Renault’s Revoz factory in Novo Mesto, a small town some 40 miles east of the Slovenian capital Ljubljana.
“It was much easier for us to engineer new Twingo for right hand drive since it is largely based on Clio II,” said Patrick Blain, Renault’s executive vice president of sales and marketing.
Renault sold 2.4 million Twingos in 14 years, but it was never available in right hand drive. Sales were largely concentrated on France, Germany and Italy. Today, those three countries and the UK account for 80 per cent of Europe’s A-segment sales, said Blain.
“New Twingo will offer renewed access to the brand in countries like the UK and Ireland – it’s important for us to bring in those new customers and keep them.”
New Twingo shares 25 per cent of its parts with Clio II and Modus. It is built here on the same line as Clio II. Revoz is now the sole source of both models.
Combined production is 210,000 a year, with total build flexibility between the two models. The original intention was to wind down Clio II but strong demand for the car across Europe has forced a rethink. “We have been surprised by the continuing demand for Clio II,” said Blain. It proves Renault’s Logan theory he said. This theory states that there is a demand not just in developing markets but also in mature markets for affordable, straightforward cars which may lack some of the sophistication of more modern vehicles.
Clio II typically sells for 15 per cent less than Clio III across Europe, said Blain. Clio III has become an altogether more mature car attracting people who want big car quality in a smaller package and are prepared to pay for it.
New Twingo is hardly unsophisticated, boasting USB connectivity, among many other features. Prelaunch internet advertising has attracted more than 850,000 hits.
The car goes on sale in Slovenia, France and Italy from June before being rolled out across the rest of Europe.