Blog: Dave LeggettHe who dares wins

Dave Leggett | 17 June 2003

I remember back in the early '90s hearing someone from Renault talking airily at a conference about a Renault 19 successor that would be a 'monospace' design, a slimmed down Espace. He tried not to give too much away but he was clearly excited by this future product. This sounded very radical. Crazy French I thought. Who would buy such a thing in a segment where the hatchback was so established? A one box R19? I wasn't so sure that would work. But Renault sounded like the company to do it, given its Espace experience. And the vision was quite firm. This was going to happen.

And then, years later, the Renault Megane Scenic hit the streets. It was an instant hit - Renault had struck a geyser. The Scenic defined a whole new segment and all of the volume makers set designers to work on similar products. As well as attracting the traditional C-Seg hatch/estate buyers, it sucked in sales from the upper medium D-segment also (mainly hurting Ford and GM in Europe).

It has been a phonemenal success story. It offered the traditional minivan benefits seen in the USA in terms of flexibility and utility but - and this was crucial - on a lower medium or C-segment platform. That smaller footprint was the key to making the minivan concept work in Europe. And Renault got to make hay while the sun shone for a few years without any significant competition. Innovation rewarded. Nice to see.


Colossal China powers on

I'm starting to get a small idea of the scale of things here in China, but really, I'm only scratching the surface of this vast country....


China Hot Pot

Given the startling complexity of obtaining a journalist visa for China - the code 'J2' is now indelibly stamped on my mind - it was with some surprise how swiftly I managed to sail through airport im...

Forgot your password?