Renault Oz Sees Little Espace For New People-Mover Photo:
2013_renault_initiale_paris_concept_01 Photo: tmr
2015_renault_espace_patent_leak_06 Photo: tmr
2013_renault_initiale_paris_concept_05 Photo: tmr
2015_renault_espace_patent_leak_01 Photo: tmr
2013_renault_initiale_paris_concept_03 Photo: tmr
2015_renault_espace_patent_leak_04 Photo: tmr
2013_renault_initiale_paris_concept_04 Photo: tmr
2015_renault_espace_patent_leak_02 Photo: tmr
2015 Renault Espace - Patent Leak Photo:
2013_renault_initiale_paris_concept_02 Photo: tmr
2015_renault_espace_patent_leak_05 Photo: tmr
Mike Stevens | May, 03 2014 | 5 Comments


Renault’s new Espace has yet to make its official debut, but a series of patent application images that leaked last month have offered a first look at the big people-mover.

Inspired by the Initiale Paris concept that debuted late last year, the new Espace is expected to make its first official appearance at the Paris Motor Show in October.

Will we see the new van in Australia? Winds of change have swept through the local people-mover market, with the new Honda Odyssey and Citroen C4 Grand Picasso both launching this year.

Kia’s new Grand Carnival has also been revealed and should land in early 2015, and Mercedes-Benz is also expected to bring its new V-Class family hauler here in the new year.

As for the Espace, Renault Australia boss Justin Hocevar told TMR at this week’s launch of the new Clio GT that the people-mover market is a tricky pit to play in.

It is on our radar, but it’s a distant blip,” Mr Hocevar said.

“The trouble in bringing this vehicle to our market at this point in time is that that [people mover] market has just deteriorated to the point where it’s faded into obscurity. SUV has really taken over, the amount of crossover and 4x2 sales now is very high.”

For the record, the number of people-movers sold in Australia so far this year totals less than 3000, while sales of SUVs medium through to upper large is verging on 70,000.

Mr Hocevar added that Renault’s Australian arm is going through a period of growth that could become “over-complicated” with any focus on low-volume models like the Espace.

“I’d like us to focus on our strengths in key competitive segments and when we can do well in B hatch and C hatch and medium SUV and light SUV and light commercial vehicles, it makes easier to consider, say, “market coverage” models that go outside of our core model strategy,” he said.

The new Espace is built on Renault Nissan’s modular CFM1 platform, and a range of small turbocharged engines are expected to provide power.

It is unknown at this stage if a right-hand-drive configuration will be offered with the new model, although the current model was offered in the UK until 2011.

Watch for the new Espace to debut at September’s Paris Motor Show.

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