Geneva show – Laguna look let it down
According to the French manufacturer’s marketing director Stephen Norman, the Laguna was dropped with several other models late last year because it was a poor design, but a better one will return.
“It was a good car in the wrong clothes,” Norman tells Headline Auto, adding; “There was nothing wrong with its quality or ride and handling.”
Norman insists, however, that Renault is definitely not pulling out of the executive market, because; “we cannot leave the Volkswagen Passat to have the market to itself in the upper medium segment.
“But we have to get the next Laguna right in terms of design because buyers in the upper medium segment expect their car to say something about their status.
I think Citroën has got it right with the C5 and certainly the DS5 – we will not come out with a copy, though.”
The economic climate is blamed for the dropping of the iconic Renault Espace people carrier
“We had to put two projects on hold, one of them you know about, the new Espace, and the other which you don’t know about, but it would have been a huge asset for us,” Norman says.
The new Espace will eventually take to the road based on a common Renault Nissan platform and Norman said it may have some input from Daimler through a technology tie up with the German carmaker.
He adds that the next Laguna could be joined by another model above it in the E-segment.
Norman admits that Renault has been quiet for some time, largely because of too much activity previously. “Around 2007 and 2008 we launched Twingo, Laguna and Megane within 18 months of each other and that created problems for us because they were too close together.
“It meant that we had no new product to follow for a while and all the facelifts came at the same time. It was important to get the model development out of synch.”
Renault’s new electric vehicles, Twizy and Zoe (pictured), will launch together this year; “but there is some space between them and others.”
Photo: Headline Auto
Words by: DrivenData Reporter