RENAULT REVIEW 2014: AHEAD INTO 2015
- South Africa’s fastest growing car brand, Renault increased sales by 51.5% in an overall PC + LCV market down by 0.8%during 2014.
- With its passenger car (PC) dealer channel market share close to 5%, one in every 20 passenger vehicles sold during 2014 was a Renault!
- Clio, Sandero and Duster - the three pillar models in Renault’s line-up - delivered exceptional performance with each firmly ranked in the Top 5 of their respective segments.
- Segment-busting’ fourth pillar model set to launch in second quarter of 2015. Watch this space!
“Renault had a great 2014 - despite challenging economic conditions and the volatile currency - increasing sales volumes by an unprecedented 51.5% over2013,” says Niall Lynch, Renault South Africa’s managing director who took overthe leadership reins just 12 months ago.
“A particularly pleasing and impressive performance when set against a back drop of a shrinking overall market down by 0.8% for the year,” adds Brian Smith, marketing and communications vice-president. Smith assumed this role on1 January having taken over from Fabien Payzan who has returned to his native France to take up a position within the Renault group.
“Renault’s market share (PC and LCV) increased by 1.1% to 3.1% while our PC car dealer channel market share came very close to reaching the 5% mark,”continues Lynch. “This translates to one in every 20 passenger cars sold through dealers being a Renault. While the market was relatively stable, the dealer channel through which the vast majority of volumes are sold was down by5.6%, which talks to the fact that consumers were under pressure, banks hadtightened up on approving finance, factors which make Renault’s achievementsall the more gratifying.”
With 50% more cars sold in 2014, the Renault dealer network is viable,profitable and very motivated, he comments. With dealer representation alreadyin excess of 50 sites, plans are afoot to extend the brand footprint evenfurther this year. .
“Sales for the year totalled 18 801 units with the marque’s three pillar models - Clio, Sandero and Duster - all featuring in the Top 5 models within their respective segments. “Our pillar model strategy continuesto work very well with all three of these volume sellers delivering anexcellent performance. Clio achievedsales of just under 6000 units (5994), Sandero close to 7000(6824) while Duster racked up unit sales just shy of 4500(4444).”
Currently ranked as South Africa’s fastest growing passenger car brand, Renault increased sales’ volumes by 53.4%in an overall passenger car market down by 2.5%during 2014 and Lynch expresses confidence that the brand will continue to lead the charge in 2015.
“Clio GT-Line, with its F1-inspired Turbo 66kW engine plus overboost function and a design mirroring that of our popular Mégane GT-Line, has just launched and, with more in the product pipeline, we will maintain this momentum into the second quarter of the year and beyond.”
RENAULT: Into 2015
Quietly optimistic that 2015 will be a better year than 2014 was forSouth Africa and the economy is Lynch’s prediction for the year ahead.
“Clio, Sandero and Duster,Renault’s three pillar models are flying and we are very excited to announcethe second quarter launch of an absolutely new fourth pillar model. We’re confident that it will prove to be asegment-buster but our lips are sealed and that’s all we’re saying for now!”That said, it’s already being whispered that the newcomer could be a contender for the 2016 WesBank/SA Guild of Motoring Journalists (SAGMJ) Car of the Year(COTY) competition!
A longtime pillar model within Renault’s product line-up, Clio maintained its magic, enjoyed an outstanding2014 ranking third in its segment. Boasting a host of local and international accolades, Clio was a semi-finalist in the 2014 WesBank/SAGMJ COTY contest. With Clio already a COTY winner in 2000, with the recent introduction of Clio GT-Line, Clio’s perennial popularity and success looks set to continue.
With 4 444 units sold in 2014, Duster has entrenched itself in the value-for-money, family environment stakes with consumers showing appreciation for its practicality, spaciousness, ground clearance and fuel economy in particular. Firmly ranked in third place in its segment, established and performing well in SA’s SUV market, the Renault Duster 1.5dCi Dynamique 4x4 is a semi-finalist in the 2015 WesBank/SAGMJ COTY showdown.
Following the successful launch of Sandero2 in late March 2014, total Sandero sales for the year totalled 6 824 units.With such a powerful and credible performance under its belt, Sandero now ranksfifth in its segment. When first introduced to South Africa, the flagship Sandero Stepway crossover was a ground-breaking and progressive addition to South Africa’s motoring arena in terms of features, benefits, performance and price. “A massively successful model for us, where Sandero Stepway led, othershave since followed,” comments Brian Smith.
Good news for Renault Sport aficionados in particular and all petrol heads out there in general, is that 2015 will also see the introduction of the new Mégane RS (February) and the Trophy model later in the year.
KEY FOCUS AREAS
“In addition to the strong value proposition products that we will be launching, we have several key focus areas which include continued sales growth, quality of service and ensuring that our customers continue to enjoy a very positive experience with our dealer network,” continues Lynch. “That sales increased by over 90% in 2012/2013 and a further 50% during 2013/2015 bears testimony to the fact that the South African motoring public has truly embraced the Renault brand.
“We’re not claiming to be a mainstream player but want to be clear thatfor consumers making a buying decision, such significant growth clearly showsthat the days of being perceived as a ‘quirky’ or ‘alternative’ brand choiceare long gone. Renault is not a niche brand which is clearly underscored by the fact that we rank among the Top 8 players, including premium brands, in South Africa’s PC market.”
One year on from Imperial Holdings’ acquisition of a 60% controllingshare in Renault South Africa, the company continues to go fromstrength-to-strength concludes Lynch. “We share a true partnership with Renault France and, working well in every respect, we are confident of continued success.
Renault is on track to be a real contender in 2015!”