Renault Aborts E-Class-Based Flagship Plans: Report Photo:
Malcolm Flynn | Mar, 13 2013 | 2 Comments

Renault has reportedly shelved plans for a new E-Class-based flagship sedan, originally planned as part of the wider Renault-Nissan and Daimler partnership.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the new model has been cancelled due to issues with supply, logistics, and assembly.

“We haven’t found a business model that works,” Renault boss Carlos Tavares said.

Renault has been without a genuine luxury flagship since the demise of the slow-selling Vel Satis model in 2009.

However, falling sales of Renault’s current Laguna and Latitude sedan models (down 41 and 36 percent in 2012 respectively) have also played a part in Renault’s decision to cancel the new luxury flagship.

Compounding this is Europe’s patchy economic outlook; with much of Europe in debt-fueled stagnation, embarking on any new luxury model would come with significant risk.

Additionally, an unnamed Renault insider reportedly confirmed that the planned flagship would have been built on existing E-Class mechanicals, expected to be superseded by a new Mercedes model by the time the Renault version launched.

Were it to proceed, the strategy would have aped the development model used to create Chrysler’s previous-generation 300C sedan, borne from the ill-fated Daimler-Chrysler partnership.

Instead of a new range-topper, Renault will reportedly now focus on rolling out top-tier ‘Initiale Paris’ versions of its mainstream models, the first of which will join the Clio light car lineup later this year.


Renault/Smart Joint Development And Infiniti Q50 Engine Supply

It's not all cuts, long faces and overworked shredders in the Renault boardroom however. Contrary to reports earlier this year, the French giant is continuing with its shared development of the next Twingo city car and Daimler-owned Smart ForTwo and ForFour replacements.

However, the first of these models is not expected to launch until 2014, a year later than initially scheduled.

Renault’s reported withdrawal from the E-Class sedan-based project is also not expected to affect Renault-Nissan brand Infiniti’s engine supply deal with Mercedes-Benz for the upcoming Q50 midsizer.

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