New­drive by Re­nault

It could be a case of third time lucky for Re­nault Aus­tralia, writes Mark Hinch­liffe

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Onroad -

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.

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