Re­nault gets se­ri­ous

Prices and giz­mos give Me­gane a com­pet­i­tive edge, writes Craig Duff

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Road Test -

SHARP pric­ing and a smor­gas­bord of stan­dard fea­tures mark the Me­gane as some­thing spe­cial for Re­nault Aus­tralia. And it will need to be — the Me­gane and its sedan sib­ling, the Flu­ence, will form the ba­sis of Re­nault’s re­vival strat­egy Down Un­der.

The changes start at the top with new man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Justin Ho­ce­var and ex­tend through an over­haul of the deal­er­ships and the model line-up.

Ho­ce­var has to over­come slow­ing sales, age­ing mod­els and a per­cep­tion the com­pany is a small-time player with quirky, funny-shaped French cars.

But the man who over­saw Mini’s rise to main­stream promi­nence says the fun­da­men­tals of the Re­nault brand — and back­ing from the French fac­tory — give him a good plat­form.

‘‘The pub­lic recog­ni­tion of the brand just isn’t there yet — Aus­tralians don’t know what Re­nault is about,’’ he says.

That’s why he’s sharp­ened his pen­cil and loaded the Me­gane with equip­ment that rates as ex­pen­sive op­tions on ri­vals’ prod­ucts.

No so quirky: Re­nault hopes its Me­gane will take the com­pany into the main­stream.

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