The engine of success built up by Louis Renault had grown and 2011 will see a range of Renault makes and models. Renault numbers set by Luis made success stories and echoes. Louise singlehandedly managed Renault to the zenith of automobile industry and even after two centuries, Renault continues to catapult itself into the right spot of success. ‘Renault’ as a brand is still throwing light on know-how on automotive industry. The ruling models of today’s Renault are many such as the face-lifted Sport Clio, Renault Laguna Coupe 2010, Yeni Renault to name but three. An overview of ‘Renault’ will have us the story of an immortal French Industrialist none other than ‘Louis Renault’.
Renault was a standalone company until 1920 for its success and resources and many automotive companies had cherished a desire to be teamed up with Renault. Renault supplied, assisted and designed many models and specifications for other manufacturers. In 1920, it entered into a distribution contract with Gustave Gueudet. During its partnership with AMC, it developed a new 4-door sedan, “the Eagle Premier”. Renault earned many awards, accolades and star rating in its major steps. Later, it found success and meaningful collaboration in a Japanese company, Nissan. In their tie-up, even the World Number One General Motors was made to take a backseat. Talks had then been ruling large that GM is thinking of having a joint venture with Renault but the talks didn’t walk well due to tug of finer points.Design and concepts kept changing all throughout these years and Renault remained ‘pioneers of many’ until 1944. It is apt to say success pioneered itself to take Renault brand to the forefront.
An enterprise under the name and style of Societe Renault Freres, anglicized as Renault Corporation, was founded in the year 1897 by the triumvirate brothers, viz. Louis Renault, Marcel Renault and Fernand Renault. The three brothers ventured into the making of automobiles and that resulted in the Regunault Voiturette ICU, which found acceptance among their family friends and comrades. A strategy struck their minds in that they went for motor racing to exhibit and create a brand of mass appeal. The genesis of the Renault brand started from the motor racing and Renault brand grew think and large. Renault made gigantic steps and straddled the international market and traversed longitude and altitude with impunity. As if there is further extension of the world, it forayed into avenues unexplored. As fate had it, Luis suffered a setback when one of his brothers met with an accidental death and shortly after that, the other brother opting out on health grounds. Though bogged down by the personal calamities and business burdens, Luis took on the challenge of making Renault big. He unleashed assortment of vehicles like vans, buss, trucks, taxis and automobiles. The lynchpin product of Renault was sporty cars which created voluminous appeal and rush to Renault. Renault sales boosted and brand bolstered in the market. Even the sky-stars would have been conquered had they were in the competition with Renault, owing mainly to the geometry, quality and efficiency of sporty cars and cars and other vehicles. Renault went synonymous to car safety. The engine power is simply super and audacious on any terrain. Renault morphology was described by many as the only and the leading top-notch automotive vehicle and sporty cars with strong geometry, bizarre bounds, sturdy build and capacity engine.
On the eve of World War I, The Allies demanded that Renault earmark, redesign and deploy all-existing vehicles and convert them to war-mode. Subsequently soaked in victory, The Allies highly acclaimed and shrouded Renault with accolades and even dedicated the victory in part to Renault. In between this time and after that, Renault rolled out multi-capacity engines and multi-purpose cars in smaller and bigger varieties and designs. 1928 saw seven models in the range of 6cv, 10cv, Monasix, 15cv,Vivasix, 18/22 cv and 40cv increasing Renault production base phenomenally. The demand would get you in a spin when you discover that during that time possessing a car was a luxury and would take away a huge part of your earning to realize that dream. The number of 45,809 sales of cars in various models and designs meant that the Renault saga was irresistible. Renault deserves being credited for its innovation and ideas that were built into the models to attract all prospective flora and fauna. Each and every part of the cars was inter-placed, size-varied, material-differentiated, pattern-switching of angular positions, engine-displacement, suspensions innovations, redefining chassis, body build, etc to arrive at the best suite that can suit its customers. 6 & 8-cyclineder 3180 cc 12-foot wheelbase and front and rear suspensions impacting all looks, space and efficiency are just examples but a tip of iceberg.
WORLD WAR 2 and After
In 1940, Nazi Germany conquered France and take control of the Renault. It ordered Renault to supply vehicles to its design and purpose. Renault rejected it. However, for German occupiers, Renault went on to make trucks. This was later questioned by French Government after the liberation of Vichy France in 1944, and made Louis languish in jail. The government expropriated the affairs and assets of Renault and made it 100% government acquisition and released the controls and reins of the company to Pierre Lefaucheux to take Renault to new height.
COMPETITION AND RIVALS
The American market wanted the Renault to be thrashed out of its precincts, for Renault remained impenetrably formidable. The one thing that played against Renault was its pricing which the competitor pounced on with zeal, flavour and purpose to drive Renault away and down. Renault came back in double quick with double strength with renewed strategies to repossess the market. During this time, Renault redesigned and supplied know-how to many other car makers. NM, PI and PZ were Grand Renault models much adored during 1927. Reinstella, Suprastella, Stella, Vivastella were the brainchild of Renault.
4CV is said to be produced with secret motive by Luis for the Nazi. In 1946, this was launched in the name of Lafecheux and had been a bit hit. Then supermodel Dauphine created uproar in the upmarket and even shook American market but due to acute competition from Chevrolet Crovair, Renault had to retreat. 4CV, the last of Luis himself, was a sedan of substance and supplements, competent enough able to buffet with the biggies like Morris Minor and Volkswagen Beetle. It has a continued life and success and even today its replica is ruling the roost in international market.
Renault then introduced rear-engine models like Renault6 and Renault8 which found immense success and followed by Reault10 and in 1966, Renault 16 and so on and on. During the time of Georges Besse in 1984, Renault underwent serious revival role. Renault went under many leaderships undulating between success and failure until it again got privatized for pure business matters. Renault has been tasting success with a mushrooming effect under its private tag.
In India, Renault set foot with its flagship model – Logan , that was actually a collaboration with Mahindra Co.