Renault is using the switch from old to new emissions testing systems to revamp and simplify its range, with phase one being a huge rationalisation of Clio, Captur and Megane models.
The new range was available to order from May 1, and sees the three cars going from a combined 74 models on the price list down to 31, spread across three new trim levels of Play, Iconic and GT-Line.
Company Car Today understands that the larger Renault models will follow in July, with the light commercial range rationalisation, which will involve the biggest cut in range, including dropping 44% of options that contribute just 2% of sales, coming towards the end of the year.
“It’s quite a transition, new ranges, engines, emissions, prices and RVs,” Renault national fleet manager Mark Potter told Company Car Today. “You want to offer everything, but we’ve looked at take-up, and taken the range down to make it simpler for both our network and our customers, fleet and retail.
“Although moving from NEDC to WLTP isn’t the most welcome thing in the world, it does give us the opportunity to look [at the range],” he continued “It’s the perfect time to check what goes into each trim level.
“Over time, when you look to position a model, when you look to open up as much choice as possible, intentions are good but don’t meet market needs.”
Renault is looking to mitigate the financial impact to customers of rising CO2 emissions, as they are expected to in the switch to the more ‘real-world’ WLTP test cycle. “The transition formula needs to be explained; as long as we go through the process of how much the vehicle is costing, its equipment, the tax implications and the residual value differential, we should come out with the same customer offer,” said Potter (pictured). Renault claimed it has also cut its LCV daily rental volume by 56% in its 2017 financial year in an attempt to shore-up residual values, instead targeting local fleet and business sales.
Other new developments in the light commercial vehicle side of the business include a new aluminium-bodied tipper coming this summer and a Master van converted for parcel delivery use, including a walk-through bulkhead.