Newdrive by Renault
It could be a case of third time lucky for Renault Australia, writes Mark Hinchliffe
THE ‘‘under new management’’ sign has been hung out at Renault Australia. In the third relaunch of the French brand in Australia in recent years, new boss Justin Hocevar promises new models, a 400 per cent increase in financial investment from the parent company and a fresh management team.
The former Mini boss has also immediately jumped into the media launch of four new models: Megane Hatch, Megane RS250, Megane Coupe-Cabriolet and Fluence sedan, a joint venture with Nissan.
‘‘These are the basis of the recovery of our brand in Australia,’’ Hocevar says. ‘‘Renault has been underestimated for too long in Australia.’’
According to the latest industry sales figures, the company is ‘‘underestimated’’ by almost a third. Sales are down 30.1 per cent to 1310 at the end of September, compared with national industry growth of 14.5 per cent.
This compares with worldwide sales results for the third quarter that show 5.7 per cent growth to 591,855 against a global market increase of 4.6 per cent. Hocevar is optimistic sales will hit 2200-2300 this year and mid-3000s next year.
‘‘Megane and Fluence will be the big sellers, plus LCVs (light commercial vehicles),’’ he says.
Hocevar also promises new finance strategies, driveaway pricing and whole-of-life running costs strategy, but rejects guaranteed buy-back or capped service pricing. There are 21 Renault dealers in Australia and will be 22 by end of the year. Hocevar says they are working on their dealer network with a service loan vehicle program, demonstrator program and finance package for customers.
Up the hatch, Page 46
Recovery: the Megane hatch is one of four new Renault models.
New boss: Hocevar.