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Signed and sealed: The Renault Master (left), and its smaller Trafic stablemate, will soon wear red paint as Australia Post vans.

Signing Australia Post may be just the start for Renault Australia’s LCVs

25 Apr 2013

RENAULT’S forthcoming new Clio hatch and Captur SUV may get the most attention, but commercial vehicles appear set to play an equally important role in the French brand’s planned Australian expansion.

Europe’s claimed top-selling LCV maker offers three vans Down Under – the small Kangoo, mid-sized Trafic and larger Master – with each showing significant double digit sales growth here over the past 18 months.

In 2012, Kango sales were up 21.4 per cent, Trafic grew 70.8 per cent and the Master, thanks to the introduction of a sharper new-generation model in February of that year, was up 532.4 per cent.

So far in 2013, the trend has continued, with respective sales hikes of 23 per cent, 88 per cent and 67.5 per cent year-on-year – no doubt helped by recent initiatives such as the introduction of a five year/200,000km LCV warranty and capped-price LCV servicing.

But don’t expect much this growth to slow from here, with the company having recently signed a major fleet deal to be the majority supplier for Australia Post.

The deal – understood to been the result of a circa-12 month tender process with stiff competition from multiple brands – will see Renault become the predominant supplier, except in some rural areas not covered by its service network.

Australia Post’s decision to switch from its fleet of Mercedes-Benz vans – it signed a five-year contract with the German brand in early 2008 – and, before that, Ford, will not only add volume, but give Renault a high degree of exposure to the public and other large-scale fleet buyers alike.

According to Renault Australia managing director Justin Hocevar, penning such a significant fleet deal will send a clear message to the market, and act as a test case for other prospective buyers.

“We’ve signed a multiple year agreement that will see us deliver a number of Trafic and Master vans to Australia Post directly, and also we expect to see a lot of their contractor business come our way too,” he said.

“Renault is very strong in commercial vehicles, number one in Europe for 15 years now, and they’ve got a very big presence in the number of state and independent postal services around the world.

“(This deal) sends a clear message to other LCV buyers that we’ve gone through a very rigorous evaluation process with a major fleet buyer, and that brand has decided to go in our direction.

“That really then begs the question, ‘well what do they know, and what we they been able to provide’.

“I think that it has already started to lead to some further enquiry in the fleet space, and we’ll continue to work with those opportunities. At the end of the day it is a story of credibility.

“It’s often the easy decision to go for what appears to be the known quantity, and as we increase our presence, hopefully that gets us onto the shopping list of more fleet buyers,” he said.

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