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Renault cuts back UK range, axes Laguna, Espace, Modus

By Ben Pulman

Motor Industry

19 December 2011 14:59

Renault UK today announced a dramatic shake-up of its range – it's axing all sales of the Laguna, Espace, Modus, Wind and Kangoo in the UK from February 2012.

It's part of a big drive to improve profitability in Great Britain. It plans to stop the majority of its rental and Motability sales to improve profitability.

Such sales are hugely subsidised, so instead it plans to focus on retail and core fleet business where it has to discount less. As part of the changes, Renault UK forecasts a significant reduction in sales in 2012, and 2013 levels will only be on par with 2011.

I can't believe it… Renault's cutting half its range!

Indeed it is. The following models will no longer be available in the UK from February 2012:

• Kangoo (the car version, not the van)
• Wind Roadster
• Modus
• Grand Modus
• Laguna Hatch
• Laguna Sport Tourer
• Laguna Coupe
• Espace
• Grand Espace

That leaves just the Clio, Twingo, Megane and Scenic ranges on sale – an extraordinary retreat from the showroom choice it offered before. All the axed models are currently unprofitable in the UK, and a decision will be made within the next four months on whether the next-gen Laguna will even be engineered for right-hand drive.

But Renault has a few tricks up its sleeve and will launch an array of new models – and the new Dacia budget brand - in the UK in 2012 to broaden the range:

• January – Revised Twingo
• February – Scenic with 1.5 dCi 110 with Stop & Start and 1.2 TCe engine
• March – Twizy Z.E.
• April – Megane gets same engines as Scenic (above)
• May – Fluence Z.E.
• October – Zoe Z.E.
• November – All-new Clio 4
• December – Dacia Duster, and replacement for Dacia Sandero

The Duster will cost less than £10k and the Sandero under £7000, but in a Daewoo-style promise there'll be no room for haggling, says Renault. Meantime, Renault hopes the Clio 4 will kickstart a repositioning of the Renault brand, to make room for the Dacia brand below it.

Anything else at Renault?

Perhaps in an attempt to make up for the lack of heartland cars, Renault plans a new Renault 4+ sales offer, including four-year/100,000-mile warranties, four-year/48,000-mile servicing packages, four years of breakdown assistance, and the option of a four-year finance package.