Renault stages bold comeback into NZ market

April 14th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

“Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years” is how the famous LL Cool J rap lyrics roll and today they ring true for car brand Renault who has unveiled a bold strategy for increasing sales in the NZ market.

After minimal sales in New Zealand last year, Renault is punching off the ropes and expanding its model range with vehicles positioned in very different core market segments. Renault’s offerings will include the new Fluence sedan, Megane Hatch, Megane Coupe-Cabriolet and the Koleos SUV. The new-to-NZ models were unveiled as part of a press event held in Auckland yesterday.

The models have just gone on sale as Renault adopts “Drive the Change” as its brand positioning statement, a phrase to reflect its new direction into the NZ mainstream motoring environment.

“Drive the Change” expresses the fundamental values of the Renault business culture – enthusiastic, innovative and human,” says Renault Cars General Manager, Stephen Kenchington. “Renault is investing proactively for growth with the all-new European styled and engineered Renault Mégane Hatch, the segment-reshaping Fluence Sedan, and stylish and chic glass-roofed Mégane Coupé-Cabriolet and Koleos SUV.”

“For the ultimate in European enthusiast sports machines, Kiwi drivers will be offered the visually exciting, muscled and toned new Mégane RS 250 Cup or Cup Trophée models. These will re-set the benchmark in terms of performance, equipment, attainability, as well as head-turning good looks that really stand out.” Continue reading “Renault stages bold comeback into NZ market” »

Renault to expand line-up in NZ and boost Koleos range

November 2nd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Renault is preparing to expand its range of models on the New Zealand market early in 2011 with the launch of the new Fluence sedan, Megane hatch, Megane Coupe Cabriolet, Megane 250RS Cup and Trophee models and the Koleos SUV.

The enlarged range of Renault’s Koleos should cater for a wide variety of buyers in the compact SUV market.

When the high riding five door arrives here early next year it will be available in 3 models, including two and four wheel drive options.

“Our customers enjoy the versatility of a compact SUV with its command driving position,” said Mark Patterson, the General Manager of Renault Cars New Zealand. “But they don’t always require the off road capabilities that come with an AWD. So to cater for this we will also make available a 2WD option.”

The still comprehensively equipped 2WD Koleos will be competitively priced with a 2.5 litre four cylinder petrol engine and Continuously Variable Transmission.

There will be two four wheel drive models available. The same petrol motor as in the 2WD is mated to a 4WD CVT gearbox, while a two litre diesel will come with a six speed automatic transmission.

“Renault has the compact SUV market covered with this range,” said Mr Patterson. “Whether the preference is diesel or petrol both 4WDs offer the ability to take their occupants to any kind of recreational destination in New Zealand.”

All three models come standard with a safety package that includes six air bags, ESP and ABS brakes.

Standard features across the range include air conditioning, a four speaker sound system, Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control, 7 function trip computer, electric mirrors and windows, 17 inch alloy wheels and a rear spoiler.

The 2WD model also has the option of integrated satellite navigation and front fog lights.

Both 4WD models add hill descent and start assist control, dual climate control air conditioning, integrated satellite navigation, automatic park control, a central console, 6 speaker sound system, blinds on the rear side door windows, roof rails, front fog lights, automatic wipers and headlights, heated door mirrors, rear parking aid and iPod USB connectivity.

Optional extras include Xenon headlights, 18 inch alloy wheels and a sunroof.

Click here to read a Car and SUV review of the Renault Koleos.

Hulme CanAm to headline Australian International Motor Show

October 13th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The Australian International Motor Show (AIMS) is opening at 5pm this Friday in Darling Harbour, Sydney and will showcase he launches of some significant new vehicles for Australasian markets.

AIMS will host two major global premieres of locally-developed vehicles from Ford and Mazda which headline a number of other expected world-first reveals. The Motor Show also has more than 40 vehicles making their debut in either Australia or the Southern Hemisphere.

Yesterday, Sydney locals got a taste of the broad range of vehicles on offer at AIMS with a display of three unique vehicles in Darling Harbour.

Mitsubishi’s electric i-Miev — the first all-electric vehicle offered by a major Australian brand — appeared alongside NZ’s first supercar, the hand-built Hulme as well as a Renault race car air-freighted straight from France.

The three cars were shown to represent the broad cross-section of what is on offer at the Motor Show, which opens to the public this Friday.

i-Miev leads the Motor Show’s extensive green vehicle line-up, highlighting the industry’s push for more environmentally-sustainable motoring.

Hulme’s CanAm offers purists the chance to get up close to a pure-bred supercar which accelerates from 0-100km/h in less-than 3.5 seconds thanks to its 7.0-litre Chevrolet V8 engine.

The Renault Megane Trophy heads a variety of race cars at AIMS. The mid-engined machine’s sleek lines were developed using aerodynamic lessons learnt in Formula 1.

AIMS director Russ Tyrie believes the wide variety of vehicles on show, coupled with a large number of new models, means there should be something to suit all automotive tastes.

Continue reading “Hulme CanAm to headline Australian International Motor Show” »

Renault-Nissan partners with Wellington City on Zero Emissions program

June 15th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The Renault-Nissan Alliance (the Alliance) and the city of Wellington have formed a partnership to explore the development of a Zero Emission Vehicles program.

The two organisations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) yesterday under which a working team of representatives from the City Council and Nissan will identify potential areas of co-operation in promoting the use of zero emission vehicles in the city. The memorandum was signed in Japan following Mayor of Wellington, Kerry Prendergast’s test drive of the Nissan LEAF electric vehicle accompanied by Nissan Motor Company’s Corporate Vice President, Zero Emissions Business Unit Mr.Hideaki Watanabe.

“Today, Nissan is proud to partner with the Wellington City Council through the signing of this MOU,” said John Manley, Nissan New Zealand Managing Director. “Technology for zero emissions mobility is a reality and we are prepared to proactively explore ways to bring this technology to New Zealand with collaboration from the Wellington administration. ”

Continue reading “Renault-Nissan partners with Wellington City on Zero Emissions program” »

Top Gear – Renault Twingo

April 26th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Jeremy Clarkson road testing the new Renault Twingo in Belfast, Ireland on Top Gear.

Daimler has faux threesome with Renault-Nissan

April 8th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The auto industry is all about getting into bed with one another. It’s an perpetual tale of courtship and heartache, with the occasional oddly formed incestuous child. So, it comes as no surprise that yet another alliance has been announced, this time between Renault-Nissan (already an alliance) and Daimler AG.

In the global economic scheme of things there are advantages to sharing, and that’s exactly what will happen. We missed out on the foreplay, but there’s plenty of slap and tickle in the press release below:

Renault-Nissan Alliance and Daimler AG announce wide-ranging strategic cooperation
April 7, 2010

Cooperation on the next-generation smart fortwo and Renault Twingo, including electric versions, as well as on expanding the smart and Twingo families

Widespread powertrain sharing and co-development on future projects with applications across passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, specifically:
o The sharing and co-development of diesel and gasoline engines from the Renault-Nissan Alliance; to be used in the new smart and Renault Twingo and to be adapted and modified with Mercedes- Benz characteristics for its new generation of premium compact cars
o The sharing of gasoline and diesel engines coming from Daimler to Infiniti, the luxury division of Nissan Motor Company, and providing the opportunity for further collaboration
o The sharing of a Renault-Nissan Alliance diesel engine and transmission for the Mercedes-Benz Vito
¢ Collaboration in the field of light commercial vehicles ¢ One-time cross-shareholding amounting to 3.1% of each partner’s
equity capital

¢ Additional synergies encompassing selective common purchasing opportunities, exchange of operational benchmarks and best practices to be shared across both groups.

Continue reading “Daimler has faux threesome with Renault-Nissan” »

Renault release new Clio S

January 15th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Renault Clio S fq

The new 2010 Renault Clio S has been announced in an effort for the French carmaker wants to bring back the model’s appeal from the early 90s. The Clio S is based on the three-door version of the standard model and makes use of the Expression specification, currently only available on the five-door. Extra kit for the S includes 16-inch Polar alloy wheels, a white front bumper insert and GT rear spoiler, racing stripes and tinted rear windows.

The interior features a leather steering wheel, white center console, dashboard inserts and instrument dials and various special badging.

The Clio S will come in two engine specifications a 1.2-litre 16V petrol version and a 1.5-litre diesel.

Renault Clio: A real car for real Living

December 19th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Beverly Hills Renault Clio advertisementt