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New Megane is a vital cog in Renault’s plans despite slowing passenger car sales

14 Oct 2016

ALMOST unnoticed by anyone present at the launch of the all-new Renault Megane at a picturesque B&B in Byron Bay, Renault Australia managing director Justin Hocevar clinked his champagne glass on the wing mirror of the display car and said almost to himself, “Yep, we’ve got lots riding on this car.”

It’s been ten months since the fourth-generation Megane launched into European markets, and ever since then Mr Hocevar and his team have repeatedly crunched the numbers in the face of a still strong but declining passenger-car sector in Australia, exchange fluctuations and specification discussions to debut a Megane that would bring more to the small-car battle – and to the brand itself.

“We’ve got very big hopes for this car,” he said. “Our brand is still not at the consideration level of a top-five brand. We’ll invest multiple millions of dollars in launching this car in communicating on, but relative to a top-five brand, we’re not in the same league.

“To get that end result, we’ll be challenged… but I would like to think this car will support our ambition of being a legitimate, mainstream European alternative.”

Can the new Megane help to fulfil the brief? It’s a tough ask, but it’s an impressive car out of the box.

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Model release date: 1 October 2016

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