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September 1, 2009

FRANCE: Renault launches new sedan for eastern markets

Renault will launch a new four-door sedan called the Fluence in November. The Turkish-built model succeeds the C-segment Megane saloon models, both generations of which were built at the Bursa plant, and is aimed primarily at buyers in Turkey, Russia and Romania. It won't be sold here in the UK where buyers prefer hatchbacks.

Renault will launch a new four-door sedan called the Fluence in November. The Turkish-built model succeeds the C-segment Megane saloon models, both generations of which were built at the Bursa plant, and is aimed primarily at buyers in Turkey, Russia and Romania. It won’t be sold here in the UK where buyers prefer hatchbacks.

Renault will introduce an all-electric version in 2011 but for now there are 1.6 and two-litre petrol engines with optional automatic transmission and five variants of the 1.5-litre dCi diesel, one of which will be offered with a new dual clutch transmission from the end of 2010. All diesel-engined versions emit only 119g/km of CO2.

Launched in late 2003, the Mégane II saloon met with considerable success in Turkey. More than 140,000 cars were sold in six years, making it the most popular car in its class. It achieved more than 20% of sales in its segment and emerged as one of the country’s top three sellers overall.

Renault said the medium-compact segment continues to expand and accounted for more than 40% of 2008 car sales in Turkey (up from 36% in 2005). Of these, four-door saloons are the dominant choice and account for 70% of sales.

Launched in 2004, the Mégane II saloon notched up 60,000 sales in Russia to become the brand’s third most popular model, after the Logan and Symbol (Clio sedan). Medium-compact segment sales grew sharply from 2006 to 2008, up from 19% of the market to 25%, while four-door saloons dominated sales.

Over 35,000 four-door Mégane IIs were sold since its launch in September 2003. The medium-compact segment represents 30% of the national market – and four-door saloons account for half those sales.

Renault spent EUR110m at Bursa to build the Fluence with almost half of that on tooling for suppliers. The balance included EUR35m on stamping equipment and EUR21m in the body shop on a new flexible, multi-model line.

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