Renault says it will remain in Australia for the long haul, despite falling sales in recent years forcing a reshuffle of the French brand’s local line-up.
As part of its Renault Vision 2020 strategy, it has announced it will focus more on SUVs, confirming an all-new Captur light SUV and Arkana small SUV will join the Koleos next year.
However the shift has also seen the Clio light hatch and Zoe electric vehicle no longer offered, and the Arkana essentially replacing the Kadjar.
Following the recent axing of all non-performance Megane small car variants, it leaves the Megane RS hot hatch as Renault’s sole non-SUV offering.
It also means the current generation, Nissan Navara-based Alaskan dual cab ute long rumoured to be Australia-bound is no longer in the brand’s plans.
This is despite the Master, Trafic and Kangoo vans all being solid citizens in their respective segments and helping Renault be a top-10 light commercial brand in Australia without a dual cab to offer.
The brand could be eyeing off the next-generation Triton from its other Alliance partner, Mitsubishi, once it launches in 2022.
It has been a swift drop for Renault. In 2011 it racked up 11,525 sales — not a massive number but good for a 1.0 per cent market share.
Ironically, its volume was largely due to the Clio (2767) and non-RS Megane (1426) posting solid numbers.
It hovered around a similar mark before last year, which saw only 8634 sales — a 13.8 per cent drop from 2018.
This year has been especially rough however, with only 2621 cars sold at the halfway mark, and its share nearly halving from 2015, dropping down to 0.6 per cent.
The Clio’s departure is sad as it offered some genuine style in the light car segment, while the Zoe was one of the most affordable EVs in Australia yet only 63 have been sold since its 2017 arrival.
Renault has had a sporadic history in Australia, manufacturing cars locally until 1981, before it had various distributors and absenses from the market before Renault took control of its Australian operations in 2001.
Renault Australia managing director Anouk Poelmann said while times were tough, there were no plans to once again go missing.
“The Australian motoring landscape has changed dramatically in the past 12 months, but Renault is here for the long haul,” she said.
The new generation Captur will arrive early next year armed with a 1.3-litre turbo petrol engine and three trim levels.
The Arakana will sit between the Captur and Koleos, offering coupe like styling and five-star safety.
Renault said the Koleos and Megane RS would also be updated and available in local showrooms next year.