Renault's poor sales - Motor Mag
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    Default Renault's poor sales - Motor Mag


    'Renault takes it as Red' - Bill Tuckey
    (Motor 07/2004, from his column on the back pages)

    I suggested in a recent column that Renault was performing badly in Australia, and now comes confirmation. In the 2003-2004 financial year, it racked up its second successive $10 million loss, while sibling Nissan Aus was setting record after record in sales and profits.
    Renault was sipping champagne back in 1974, when it was assembling cars in the West Heidelberg plant it opened in 1966. It had its best ever year in 1974, 6568 sales and 2.1 percent of the market.
    When Nissan relaunched Renault here in 2001, it announced it was aiming at 5000 sales in 2002 and five percent of the market, and sales of 25,000 by 2007.
    It then set out to spend a gob-smacking $20 million on advertising in the first 8 eight months. The big spend was costing a crazy $7000 per car and it left the company bathed in red ink.
    In 2002, it flogged 4565 units and, but last year that flopped to 3178. And, for the first quarter this year, Renault sales were running at an annualized rate of around 3000.
    There is some light at the end of the tunnel. Renault dealers now have the new mid-sized Trafic delivery van, and will get the smaller Kangoo and bigger Master in July and August. Then, towards the year's end, there are new versions of the Scenic, a Sport hatch and a clever cabriolet. Maybe that light isn't an oncoming train.


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    Default A rocket up the rear end is the only solution...

    Current issue of Motor has a small snippet by Bill Tuckey on Renault's poor sales in Australia over the past few years, with the current one not looking good either. He mentions that the money spent on advertising worked out to about $7K per sale in their first year back. The article is not all doom and gloom though, with him going on to say that things could improve if the new vehicles are popular - the various commercials, Scenic and 'Sport hatch & clever cabriolet' (I'm assuming he is talking about the Megane? I love that glass roof *swoon*).

    I personally think that the saviour, if it does eventuate, will be the commercial range. I can not see the RS version of the Megane igniting Renault's sales. The cabrio should do well, judging by how popular the two topless Pugs seem to be, especially if priced competitively but it is a very niche market and so there won't be a large number sold.

    The Australian driver is still not ready to accept diesel passenger cars, but with petrol prices constantly rising , buyers will be forced to start paying more attention to how thirsty a car is. Introducing diesel engines in the passenger range might be a risk that Renault should take. Once the frugality and torque of a diesel is experienced firsthand, surely the mindset will change? That being said, the car being both French AND diesel!. Phwoar! Way too much for the average car buyer to handle.



  3. #3
    moosey
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    Here's my thoughts on this one, guys:

    If you were to put a Nissan badge on the new Megane and call it a Pulsar, they'd sell by the boatload. Sadly Renault sells about as many cars in Australia as Nissan does in France (well not quite...), quite often for the same stereotypical reasons. I used to work for Renault in sales (a couple of years ago). We would get a customer walk through our section of the delaership and when we tried to get them interested in a vehicle, they'd often tell us that they "had a Renault in 1968, and it was the worst car I've ever had". Therein lies the problem.

    It's not all gloom and doom though. Just look at Alfa Romeo - they probably had a worse reputation that most in the late 70's and early 80's. Now look at them in Australia. They have some great product, retain their quirkiness, but also have a certain cool factor. So it is possible to turn things around. Another example is Seat/Skoda in the UK/Europe. Seat was a joke ten years ago. Now in France it's the young persons brand. It's hip, it's cool. Why buy a Golf when you can have a Leon for a few grand less? Skoda has reinvented itself with a quality/value for money image.

    I now work for VW and most of the people we sell to are young professionals, couples, etc. Our older customers, I must say, do have great memories of Beetles, Kombi's, etc. I say that Renault needs to market itself to the younger generation - they're the ones without the bad memories of the past, they're influential among their friends, and they change their cars more often than the oldies. OK, so a 25 year old is unlikely to buy a $50,000 Laguna, but this model isn't going to generate 10,000 sales a year either!

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    renault need to take a more prestigious approach without the price tag i think.

    instead of shaking ass on TV adds, have a more professional sleek image likie BMW, Mercedes, VW, Alfa even. a more "coffee sipping, footpath dining" type approach. rather then aiming it at 20year olds without and $$$

    then have their commercial range completely distinguished from the passenger cars.


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    Default Renaults performance in Sales

    This is just an opinion and should be taken as such.


    Both myself and my brother ran V6 Lagunas and both of us were real interested in the new Laguna when it was comming out. (I had a Renault 21 before the Laguna).

    Both of us had the negative experience of Volvo looking after Renault and in our opinion doing their utmost to ruin Renaults name. It would take too long to detail this experience and it is now in the past anyway.

    Now out of its massive advertising budget we felt that due to the hassles we had endured during Renaults absence we could have (should) had some incentive to upgrade.

    The low trade in value on imaculate condition Lagunas was offensive. One Renault salesman said to my brother to get rid of his heap of cr..p!

    The Renault salesman I spoke to the other day knew absolutely nothing about Renault. He was just trying car sales after a previous carreer.

    I feel, and this is my opinion, that Renault could have done more to encourage existing customers to update to a newer car by offering incentives to inflate the poor prices being offered.

    It is well known in retail that it is cheaper to keep a customer happy and purchasing from you than advertise and hope to find new ones.


    For example a Renault Laguna 100,000kms around $52,000 in 95 offered $10.000 against a new 2002 Clio 1.4 Privalege whick my brother now owns.

    It would also be nice to see salesmen who knew the cars not someone who would rather be selling bulk Hyundies in the showrooms.

    I would like to see Renault do well in Australia and hope that they find a way of doing so. I feel they missed a great opportunity with existing Renault drivers.

    Graeme

  6. #6
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    Graeme, I agree with you regarding sales people's lack of product knowledge. You wouldn't believe how high turnover is in dealerships. It's a tough job, long hours, 11 day fortnight, and the pay isn't great. In some places, salespeople are getting as little as $50 a car for a sale! So it's really hard to get good staff. I know, because I see the resumes and do the interviews.

    Not too sure what your expectations were on the Laguna. A '95 Calais would have been similar money new, and would be worth the same sort of money used, probably less. At it's a Holden, so no probs with support, parts, etc, and plenty of likely used buyers.

    I don't think that a BMW or Merc buyer would ever consider a Renault. It just doesn't have the "badge value" they feel that they need.

    The best form of advertising is word of mouth - great product, great backup service from dealers and the manufacturer. Fancy ads might get people into a car, but if there's no support, they're pretty unlikely to come back for another one.

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    In my opinion, there is no quick fix.

    Renault has to keep plugging away.

    Renault has to realise that many of it's once loyal customers have been burnt by Renault bailing out of Australia twice before.

    Renault 25 and Laguna owners would be the prime example. They paid premium prices for what were great cars, but a lack of parts and dealer back-up (when Renault bailed) has meant many have died early deaths or been neglected by owners who have brought them cheaply second hand (because of their low resale value) and then been unable to afford to keep them on the road.

    Many of the older generation of Renault owners (R12 and R16 owners) have simply moved allegiences to Peugeot or gone elsewhere.

    The only way Renault will be able to turn this around is by sticking it out for the long haul. This may mean running at a loss for 5-10 years. The problem is Renault France may not see the financial sense in losing money for 10 years. Especially when Australia is such a small market in the overall scheme of things. Time will tell I suppose....

    On a side note, as has been stated, the lack of knowledge some Renault dealers display is also alarming.

    I remember when Renault first came back to Australia.

    I was looking at puchasing an RCS from the Geelong dealer. At the same time, the dealer was showing a young lady a Megane Cab.
    I got back from the (15 minute) test drive and here was the dealer still trying to close the roof.
    In the end he said to the customer, "sorry, it must be broken". Needless to say she quickly walked out and would probably never venture near a Renault dealer again.

    I opened up the glove box, pulled out the owners manual, read the instructions and had the roof closed in about 30 seconds (I think the car has to be in park with the hand brake on or something from memory....)

    When I informed the dealer that the roof was not broken, he said to me in a codescending manner "Bloody French Shit, you need a degree in pyhsics to operate the thing".....Needless to say, it was then that I walked out...

    Yip, good way to sell cars mate....

    BTW - If Renault bails out again, they will burn a whole new generation of Renault owners, not to mention they will lose all credibility and never be able to sell cars here again.....
    Last edited by mistareno; 13th June 2004 at 04:32 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mistareno
    I opened up the glove box, pulled out the owners manual, read the instructions and had the roof closed in about 30 seconds (I think the car has to be in park with the hand brake on or something from memory....)

    When I informed the dealer that the roof was not broken, he said to me in a codescending manner "Bloody French Shit, you need a degree in pyhsics to operate the thing".....Needless to say, it was then that I walked out...

    Yip, good way to sell cars mate....
    Richard,
    That's right - handbrake has to be on. Justin and I perfected driving into a carpark/somewhere we planned to stop with the handbrake on one click which didn't actually activate the handbrake at all, so you could put the roof up whilst moving (slowly).

    What a bloody hopeless way to sell cars though. At least the Renault dealer I've been to multiple times (buying my sister's car, and with a friend looking at a car there) the dealers have been positive, known their stuff (ie "did you know Renault invented the turbocharger?") and been positively keen to just get people into cars, and let them sell themselves. It's passion for the product that shines and makes people keen to buy. I know - I do it all the time selling.

    Derek

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reno
    renault need to take a more prestigious approach without the price tag i think.

    instead of shaking ass on TV adds, have a more professional sleek image likie BMW, Mercedes, VW, Alfa even. a more "coffee sipping, footpath dining" type approach. rather then aiming it at 20year olds without and $$$
    They've gone back to the butt based advertising again

    Sure the Megane's rear end is a point of differentiation, but is it really one that will cause you to buy it? BTW, sales dropped back to two digit territory, after the one month 100 cars wonder.

    I can see why they don't advertise the Laguna, VDA have really stuffed it up now. The Laguna is the Magna of the prestige segment, decent product, but with resale that would make an XM seem like an investment in CBA shares in comparison!

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    it comes down to price price and price. If they had put a fair whack of the initial ad budget into lower pricing the customer base would have been much better by now. If the figure really was $7000 per car then there would have been a fair amount to play around with.

    Woo Hoo Honi ko'u 'elemu (Hawaiian)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pug307
    They've gone back to the butt based advertising again
    I sometimes despair! Just about the safest range of cars regardless of price, very innovative and much better built than ever before. Ingenious, advanced, stylish, top sellers in Europe, Cars of the Year in Europe quite often etc etc etc.

    And they advertise them with butt shaking? I despair.

    By the way, I overheard a Perth salesperson being asked what was outstanding about the new Megane. The response? "It's got loads of room!"
    Now there are many good features about the new Megane (the shape of which I love) but "loads of room?" Hardly. Product knowledge?? Not exactly.

    I wonder if Renault Aust. (or whatever it's called this time) follows the forum? Perhaps they could acknowledge our opinions. Many of us have had Renaults for a little while now. Since 1966 continuously in my case. We must know something.

    JohnW

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    Quote Originally Posted by BogMaster
    it comes down to price price and price. If they had put a fair whack of the initial ad budget into lower pricing the customer base would have been much better by now. If the figure really was $7000 per car then there would have been a fair amount to play around with.
    Look at it this way - spending $7000 per car is one of the main reasons why they're losing a bomb.

    It's not an expensive car for what you get. I don't think pricing is the main issue.

    Loads of room isn't the first thing that would pop to mind with a Megane. You're only insulting the customer if s/he has just come from a Peugeot dealership!

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    I think the issue is how do you go about creating a customer base...market share?

    In France the whole shebang is tied up with marketing, very good finance deals and after sales service support. Here we get "we create cars" and some attractive wiggling arse, some "so so" dealers confined to major urban areas and not a lot more - apart from pretty good cars that to the less discerning eye may not be up to the mark in terms of value for money.

    They could do worse marketing wise than sticking the Nissan banner on some of the range and looking at the pricing structure.

    Renault is a successful multinational that has in its time made some shitful business decisions - lets hope that the current expedition to Australia isn't one of them.

    Woo Hoo Honi ko'u 'elemu (Hawaiian)

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    Default Less is more

    There is no doubt that Renault make great cars. A renault was my first french love affair. However I do agree that their approach to pricing is its biggest downfall. The advertising is directly aimed towards youth ,but how many young people are able to enjoy the thrill of ownership. It's a shame that many turn to alternative makes because of high entry levels. Maybe the answer lies in less advertising ,lowering prices,and let the visability of more Renaults on the road ,create them sales.
    Quote Originally Posted by Reno
    renault need to take a more prestigious approach without the price tag i think..

    instead of shaking ass on TV adds, have a more professional sleek image likie BMW, Mercedes, VW, Alfa even. a more "coffee sipping, footpath dining" type approach. rather then aiming it at 20year olds without and $$$

    then have their commercial range completely distinguished from the passenger cars.


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    XsaraVTS/Pete

    i agree they need to make a decision. what they have isn't working. either go for the youth lower end of the market, or go for the middle income. shaking ass isn't appealing to the right demographic.

    who are these marketing jokers they have doing pathetic adds like these. i am sure there is a whole business plan aimed at their target market which justifies their ass shaking tactics too... it is now obvious that would have more holes then a sieve.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BogMaster
    I think the issue is how do you go about creating a customer base...market share?

    In France the whole shebang is tied up with marketing, very good finance deals and after sales service support. Here we get "we create cars" and some attractive wiggling arse, some "so so" dealers confined to major urban areas and not a lot more - apart from pretty good cars that to the less discerning eye may not be up to the mark in terms of value for money.

    They could do worse marketing wise than sticking the Nissan banner on some of the range and looking at the pricing structure.

    Renault is a successful multinational that has in its time made some shitful business decisions - lets hope that the current expedition to Australia isn't one of them.

    ...For what it's worth. I remember reading somewhere about Renault and Peugeots $$ value here in Aus. Historically R & P have been priced at a high premium here for what are really bread and butter cars in Europe. The cars Renault (and Peugeot too I guess ) are selling here at the moment are great cars , we all agree but they are priced out of their fields mostly. You only have to pick up a copy of the Uk Car magazine and compare the market sectors look at what the Renaults compete with and their costs and you'll see that we pay more for the same product out here, compared to the competitors cars. We have been lead to believe that just because a Renault is French it should cost more. This may-be true in the upper end of some model ranges, but for basic Clios and Meganes they should be able to compete on an even field, aim them at the Echo and Corolla price market, and they should do real well. It seems that French cars have won over a moajority of the motoring press, now they jsut have to win Joe public over.
    I believe a whole rethink from the top down is in order or we may see Renault dissapear from our shwowrooms again, never to return.
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    Last edited by HONG KONG PUGGY; 15th June 2004 at 11:34 PM. Reason: i can't spell (still)

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    3 rules of real estate ... Location, Location, Location
    3 rules of new car sales ... Reputation, Reputation, Reputation.

    Whilst maybe not that simple, if you have a bad reputation in the market place you can't sell jack. No amount of product awareness ($20 mil in ads) will counter that. Cars on the road and after sales service will help mend that, but you can't get cars on the road initially unless you price very very competitively - money talks.

    You might say "Alfa had a bad rep, Jag had a bad rep etc etc" but these are an entirly different class of car, money was not the issue, peoples love for the mark kept them alive ... only now is their rep being repaired. How many people still say "Don't trust an Alfa they'll rust to pieces in 3 years". Takes a long time to shake the monkey off the back.

    Many people I know have turned down the option of a Pug/Ren/Cit in WA because of the limited numbers of dealers ... they want the option of servicing around the corner and not half way across the state (for country people anyway) AND hate being felt "held to ransom". If the $7K per car was reduced to $2K and $5K went to reducing the price it may have been different ... RCS for under $30K ... how many would sell then ??? Base Clios for $16,990 ...???

    Maybe it's a dream and not really possible but yes 2/3 years of sacrifice might work ... $20mil in ads won't.

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    I think the price comparison has been made before. On a $ for $, model for model and feature for feature comparison, all the Renaults in AUS compare well to their intended market of the better quality (not prestige) small to medium car sector which the cars really do deserve to be in. That is Pug/Cit/VW being the main competitor. Not the Nissan/Hyundai/Toyota end of the market.

    And the same comparison with their home or UK market prices the comparisons remain the same in that particular market sector too. Infact the RS Clio seemed to sold at a considerable discount to its home market price at the time that comparison was made (six months ago approx, someone else can search if they are interested enough).

    Ideas I think that could make Renault more appealing are mainly in the merchandising areas, how about driver education courses included in the price of all cars on purchase, with an advanced driver course for RS models (not just the current runout RS Clio buyers)? It reinforces the fact that Renault are serious about safety and can demonstrate features in their cars. When Renault did the same thing back in 1973 with a Bob Watson designed advanced driving course sales did increase. That was a time when feature for price a Renault could boast superior handling and engineering over the competition, but feature wise they did not compare with the dynamically poor but feature packed and equivalent price Japanese cars.

    More merchandise. For the GP, there was a complaint that people could not find any Renault F1 merchandise for love or money. For me that doesn't matter but for some people it apparently does. Also just general merchandise, when I saw my very friendly (that is a fact!) local dealer to enquire for toys, all they could provide were just boring old pens and other forgettable items. No brightly coloured trinkets or models that are great add on sales and provisions of goodwill to customers and money spinners to enthusiasts. The OS Renault Boutique comprises an extensive range, here barely a blip. Andre Citroen made Citroen toys just for the very purpose of promotion to the young.

    Have Renault hosted and RS Clio gatherings or advanced driver training for current owners to meet? Subaru apparently support the various WRX meets fairly well, it rubs of in goodwill for the product and could also smooth over the various relationship problems that seem to exist with some present RS Clio owners. Even Ssangyong Musso owners had a factory created and supported club that made those cars seemingly very popular when they were distributed by Mercedes.

    These are but a few ways that whilst they may not bring new customers into the showroom would likely engender positive reviews from their owners and encourage others to consider a Renault purchase. Unfortunately the $20mill advertising seems to have just been wasted.

    The Renault problems seems strange really, it can't just be the numbers of dealers, here in SA there is only one of each of Ren/Pug/Cit and VW dealers, yet all except Renault seem to sell reasonably well.

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    Nah Simon,

    What is needed is to build a customer base quickly. Cars like the base model Clio should be aggressively priced. As good as the Clio is, you can't say it is a standout type of vehicle in the around $20k class. In Europe they do some good deals on pricing and finance in particular to flog the frog fridges to the punters...and they are on their home palouse there with no desperate need to establish respectability or grab market share.

    If the characters at Renault Australia can't make this excursion work for them they will leave deservedly poorer for the experience.

    It could be the key to selling the things here really is to do a badge job and flog them as rice bubbles.

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    The sales trends of Renault are a real worry indeed. I have read all the above comments and totally agree with the 1st comment by moosey.
    Im in favour of a lot of advertising but they need to keep it consistent. Having dealers that say things like "french crap" will never win over aussie hard heads. They need to market the cars differenty I think. The commercial range should be a big success if priced right also. I disagree that the range should not be pitched too much to a younger market. It needs to be focussed on them and then link the cars to popular aussie icons here. Like in France they have the "mtv clio". These kind of aussie variants are needed here, maybe a clio outback or something of that nature. I really am not sure. Citroen sales are really quite soaring currently im being told. They are really popular. I mean they are not selling them like hyundai getz but they are consistent. I think like derek said you need people to sell them that have great knowledge & passion. (if only they had car club guys and some off here selling them they would be in great shape id imagine) .
    They need to tinker with the market and bring out varying models and so to speak "put the toe into the water".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reno
    XsaraVTS/Pete

    i agree they need to make a decision. what they have isn't working. either go for the youth lower end of the market, or go for the middle income. shaking ass isn't appealing to the right demographic.

    who are these marketing jokers they have doing pathetic adds like these. i am sure there is a whole business plan aimed at their target market which justifies their ass shaking tactics too... it is now obvious that would have more holes then a sieve.
    umm, it's worth noting that the "shaking that ass" advertising campaign was run throughout Europe (inc. the UK) - so it's not the Australian marketing jokers who came up with that one.

    I think the idea was to accentuate an unusual feature of the car, one that causes some controversy, and to get people talking. From what I have read, it seemed to work somewhat here, with the usual morons on MMM et al. talking about it (derogatory or not, it's still advertising and it makes people aware)

    Now I recall reading a couple of months ago that the campaign was finished and they were going to move on into another style (more conservative) I haven't seen a Megane advert for some time, so I'm not sure if that has actually happened.

    I don't believe Renault is under any illusions that you can just repair the mistakes made in the past overnight. It's very easy for a motoring journalist to divide the marketing budget into the amount of cars sold and come up with a "cost" per car of advertising. I think you'll find thats not how these things are really costed in the real world, especially when trying to reestablish a brand with such a chequered past - I would have thought $20 mill is just a starting point really - brand awareness and trust doesn't come overnight nor cheaply.

    I guess the other thing to think about is where do we draw the "success" line? Traditional capitalism would have you think that success is only obtained when you have 100% of the market - impossible of course. So I guess meeting Peugeot/Citroen sales figures would be a good target - but will that be enough for people? Or are we doomed to repeat this same observation on Aussiefrogs ad infinitum?

    Now what we really need is some input from our friends at VDA!
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    I?ve already gotten into heaps of trouble on oz clio for this, for my views anyway, because I was being too blunt and critical. But, the way I see it, Renault is trying to be an upmarket brand here, which it is not in Europe. It could work, but being an up market brand doesn?t just mean you price your cars above the rest in the class. It takes good and consistent service level from the corporate office to the dealers to make the company, and Reanult isn?t doing that right now.
    Each dealer is like selling their own brand of cars, which is fine, but none of them are good at it. So far the only dealer I can see that has really improved with a passion is Waitara, I was once told there?s nothing wrong with my car because in an Alfa 156, the same thing happens.
    If Renault wants to sell these things at their current price point, and be the VW of France, they have got to up their service, at least with good service people might over look the bad quality.
    Karl
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    Quote Originally Posted by storms_of_fate
    Each dealer is like selling their own brand of cars, which is fine, but none of them are good at it. So far the only dealer I can see that has really improved with a passion is Waitara, I was once told there?s nothing wrong with my car because in an Alfa 156, the same thing happens.
    If Renault wants to sell these things at their current price point, and be the VW of France, they have got to up their service, at least with good service people might over look the bad quality.
    I agree that Renault is not an upmarket brand in its homemarket, but neither is Peugeot, Citroen or VW in their respective markets. However model for model in those European markets they are at the same price points, so I fail to see how in Australia that the Renault is beneath a VW in a marketing sense.

    I also agree that service is also a key thing to get right. Fortunately the dealer in Adelaide seems to have interest and product knowledge and from what I have heard is reasonably helpful servicing wise. The couple of dealers I've seen in Victoria also seemed interested and had good product knowledge. But those were in freestanding Renault dealerships rather than the usual multi franchise setup where they probably have to compete with other cars on price.

    OTOH the VW dealer seemed rather arrogant and disinterested even when faced with a current model Golf GTi owner who was interested in looking at an R32 Golf.

    So that episode indicates that sales really are not based on service alone.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by storms_of_fate
    I?ve already gotten into heaps of trouble on oz clio for this, for my views anyway, because I was being too blunt and critical. But, the way I see it, Renault is trying to be an upmarket brand here, which it is not in Europe.
    Can I ask you to justify that opinion with some examples?
    '05 Pearl Black Mégane 5-Door LXR(Daily Driver), '75 Trak Yellow R16TSA (Parts Car), '74 Midnight Blue R17TS (Rebuilding), '73 457 Blue R17TL (Parts Car), '72 Alpine White R16TL (Retired), '69 Sunburst Brown R16TS (Awaiting Rebuild), '68 "Appliance White" Europa (Stored)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon
    I think the price comparison has been made before. On a $ for $, model for model and feature for feature comparison, all the Renaults in AUS compare well to their intended market of the better quality (not prestige) small to medium car sector which the cars really do deserve to be in. That is Pug/Cit/VW being the main competitor. Not the Nissan/Hyundai/Toyota end of the market.
    I think this statement underlies half the problem.

    Renault IS NOT an upmarket (or better quality) model in it's European markets.

    In England, a Clio is cheaper than a Yaris (Echo) and a Laguna is cheaper than a Camry (with the same gear)

    The problem that some obviously don't see, is that Toyota (and NISSAN to a lesser extent) IS a brand Renault SHOULD be competing with. Toyota is NOTthe lower end of the market, it is probably THE most respected (not desired) brand out of any brand this side of a Benz.

    I bet if you asked 20 (average non-motoring enthusiast) people on the street which brand they would rather own out of Toyota and Renault, the answer would be very one sided. Add to that a price premium for Renaults and it starts looking rather pear shaped rather quickly.

    I'm not saying Renault should try and drop to Korean levels by any means but it really should have thought its brand worth and pricing structure out from the start instead of slashing prices (and in turn resale and customer satisfaction) by cutting the price later to try and spark sales.

    There is nothing wrong with competing with Japanese brands such as Nissan, Honda, Toyota etc on price. Most consumers are only prepared to pay a small (very small) premium over these "benchmark" cars unless they feel they are getting a car with more inherent brand image and resale (Merc, BMW, Audi etc...).

    Renault certainly doesn't have this advantage.

    The Japanese sell on value, quality reliability and resale.

    For Renault to succeed here, it has to offer all of those things, and offer it in a package that is better to drive.

    Renault has burnt many in the past and it has already burnt many (mainly Laguna owners who are trying to work out where their 60K went) since its return. If they cant get Renault enthusiasts to overlook their service and sales shortcomings, how can you expect a regular consumer to give them a second thought.

    I personally think alot of the problem is in the dealer/service networks. Many are Nissan dealers who perhaps weren't (aren't) really interested in the Renault franchise? Atleast this seems to be the case from the limited interaction that I have had.

    I don't think the problem is a Renault Australia one as those that I have met, including (perhaps particuarly) Ian Mclean seem to be genuinely enthusiastic about the product and creating a genuine brand following. However, I do think that the pricing structure and strategy that Renault Australia decided was a tad optomistic.....


    FWIW - This is how I think the Renault price range should look -

    CLIO 1.4 Expression 5 Door - $16990 (Honda Jazz/Ford Fiesta territory)

    CLIO 1.6 Expression spec 3 Door - $17990 (This would sell well IMO as it would be a class leading package. Great Chassis, Great engine, Reasonable Equipment, competitive price..)

    CLIO 1.6 Privilege spec 3 Door - $19500 (Same as above but with more kit....)

    CLIO 1.6 Privilige 5 Door - $20500 (undercut Mazda 2 Maxx by a few hundred)


    MEGANE Range - Use the Mazda 3 range as the baseline for the 2.o Litre Meganes....Under cut them on the 1.6....

    NOTE TO RENAULT AUS - The Mazda 3's entire range spans only $5000 ($25490 for a Maxx Hatch (2.0 with decent spec levels) up to $29990 for the SP23 with full body kit and 2.3 litre engine).....The Megane starts out at a semi-reasonable $25990 (only with a rather gutless 1.6 min you) and blows out to $37190 for the Dynamique 5 Door....

    Scenic - The only model in the Renault Range that (IMO) seems to have a realistic (and very competitve) starting price of $27990.....The range topper would want to have some serious kit though for $10 K more, seeing as it has the same engine and body.....

    LAGUNA Range - Again, use the Honda Accord for the baseline.
    Laguna 2.0 Expression - $36250 (same as Accord Euro)

    LAGUNA V6 Privilige - $39990 (same price as the Honda Accord 3.0 V6)

    LAGUNA V6 Privilege LX - $43000 (match the Honda Accord Luxury which has a very similar spec sheet)

    Obviously it's going to be a bit hard to wind back Laguna/Megane prices without really pissing off customers and fleet companies....

    Maybe Renault should have had a better look at the market before jumping on the prestige band wagon......

    Peugeot has a better reputation hence better resale and has been in Australia continuously for the last 60 years and even they don't sell the house down...

    And Renault wonders why they cant sell many cars....

    That's my rant...

    Seeya
    Last edited by mistareno; 16th June 2004 at 03:51 PM.

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