100 years of Renault Innovation
After envisioning and creating some of the world’s most reliable and magnifique automobiles for over 100 years, we have a solid and ever expanding reputation in the automobile industry around the globe and are steadily growing here in 'Nouvelle-Zélande'.
Louis Renault & frères (brothers)
Born in Paris in the mois de l’amour (month of love) February 1877, Louis Renault was to go on to produce his first car, the Voiturette in 1898. In 1899, Louis, Marcel and Fernand would form Renault Frères, beginning the révolution Renault(Renault Revolution).
The Early Years
The early 1900’s were 'très satisfaisant' for the Renault frères with the first Renault 'automobile' being produced and patents filed for the first turbochargers. Also with sales established outside of France in England, Italia, Germany and the USA, things were 'rapidement' taking off for Renault. After taking orders for 250 taxis in Paris, the frères were to soon be busy with their current workshop being switched to a mass production factory. By 1907, 50% of the taxis in London were Renault! In 1909, Louis sadly lost his frères Marcel and Fernand and Renault Frères became Société des Automobiles Louis Renault. During World War One, Renault contributed by supplying trucks and ambulances, troop transportation and even light tanks. At war’s end, Renault was the main manufacturer in France, with plants in Belgium, England and Spain. Louis Renault dies in 1945.
Post World War Two
In 1945 following Louis Renaults death, the French government nationalises Renault, remaining owned by the state for the next 50 years, with the company name changing again, 'sacre bleu', to Régie Nationale des Usines Renault. Even with all the name changes, the philosophy always remained 'inchangée', and Renault introduced many innovational models with a 'grand' focus on motorsport. With Renault expanding outside of France and its colonial markets, Renault is becoming eminently popular. 1964 saw the Renault 8 Gordini launch with great sporting success, and in 1972 the R5 makes its debut, going on to account for 60% of sales.
70s, 80s and 90s
In 1976, Renault Sport is founded and shortly after in 1980 Renault becomes Europe’s leading vehicle manufacturer. 1984 saw the release of the versatile Espace, a multi-purpose vehicle. It didn’t take long for the 'bénéfices' of the Espace to become clear as day and the Espace soon took off with with a 'considérable' success. 1989 saw Renault posting a profit of FF 9 billion and 'réintégre' F1. In 1991, the Renault Clio makes its debut and is voted car of the year for the first of many times. 1992-1997 saw Renault take six consecutive Formula 1 world championship titles, establishing itself as a major player in F1.
In 1999 Renault and Nissan aligned, drawing on Nissans stronghold in the Asia Pacific markets, extending their presence all over Australasia. As well as sharing engines and joint development of zero-emissions technology, the two companies shared production systems, resulting in Renault increasing productivity by 15%.
2000 saw Renault again become the top vehicle manufacturer in France and developed a reputation for distinctive, outlandish design, with the Laguna being the second European car featuring “keyless” entry and ignition. On top of Renaults style, Renault became known for its car safety with many of the vehicles achieving 5 star ratings. In 2007, a new line of eco-friendly vehicles were introduced, with recycled plastic being used and materials that are 95% reusable being introduced. Emissions were also heavily focused on, with Renault receiving the Environment award in 2008 as Renaults impressive range of low-emission vehicles being the most tangible and quantifiable for the award.
2010 and Onward
Renault became a leader in electric vehicle sales in Europe, thanks to a large range of vehicles like the Kangoo, Twizy and Zoe. The Zoe was the top selling all-electric car in Europe in 2015, continuing to rank as the top selling plug in electric car in Europe in 2016. In the FIA Formula E Championships’ inaugural campaign in 2014/2015, Renault e.dams claimed Teams’ glory, before Renault did the double the following season with a second successive teams’ title and the drivers’ laurels for Sebastian Buemi. Autonomous vehicle technology is being studied at present, with plans to introduce a vehicle by 2020. with a prototype called the Next Two (based on the Zoe) being unveiled in February 2016. In 2016, Renault revealed the production version of the Alaskan, which will be based on the current Navara platform. The Alaskan was shown alongside other Renault models at the 2016 Paris Motor Show. Watch this space for more info.