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Renault cuts Megane range

Going RS: Renault’s Nurburgring-thumping Megane RS Trophy-R is still on the launch agenda for Australia, despite Renault Australia’s decision to cull some Megane models from its sales list.

Megane line-up trimmed in Australia as Renault turns to sports hatches and SUVs

19 Jun 2019

RENAULT Australia has discontinued slow-selling mainstream variants of its Megane small car range, retaining only a streamlined mix of sporty hatchbacks for its Megane line-up.
 
Like Holden’s decision to cut the sedan and wagon variants from its Astra range, Renault has culled the Megane sedan and wagon, along with the entry level Megane Zen hatch.
 
These Renault variants effectively will be replaced by the upcoming Kadjar medium SUV that will arrive in the fourth quarter to slot between the Captur and Koleos to take advantage of the family buyer switch from passenger cars to SUVs.
 
Renault Australia will continue on with its Megane sports hatchbacks, including the hot Megane RS Trophy and even hotter RS Trophy-R that have been earmarked for limited local release late this year.

Renault Australia's new managing director Anouk Poelmann said: “Renault Sport speaks to the core of Renault’s DNA and history in the automotive industry and with the impending arrival of the Megane RS Trophy and Trophy-R models here in Australia there is an exciting Megane RS journey ahead for both Renault and the passionate Megane customers.
 
“As part of this journey Renault Australia has made the decision that the time was right to make the RS brand more desirable and what better way of doing that than focusing on the models that epitomise Renault’s passion for challenge and performance,” she said.
So far this year, Renault has sold just 15 Meganes in Australia, representing a dramatic 96.5 per cent fall on the 431 units sold to the end of May in 2018.
 
By comparison, small car market leader Mazda has sold 12,682 Mazda3s in the first five months of this year.
 
Renault’s Megane hatchback range now only includes the GT-Line, GT, RS Sport and RS Cup, with the limited-edition RS Trophy and Trophy-R to come.
 
The move to make the Megane a sports specialist under the Megane Sports banner fits with a stated ambition of Renault Australia to become one of the strongest export markets for Renault Sport models.
 
However, the move means the most affordable Megane becomes the $32,990 (plus on-road costs) GT-Line hatchback that is powered by a 1.2-litre four-cylinder petrol engine.
 
Year to date, Renault sales in Australia are down 20.7 per cent, will all models taking a hit.
 
The top seller is the Koleos with 864 sales to the end of May, representing a drop of 33.3 per cent year on year.
 
Renault Australia hopes the arrival of the new Kadjar soon will lift the brand’s fortunes in the second half of this year.
 
The Spanish-built Kadjar has been on sale in Europe and China since 2015, but only now is being introduced Down Under where Renault Australia believes the recently facelifted version will hit a sweet spot at the lower end of the medium SUV market, up against the likes of the Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage and Nissan Qashqai. 
 
The Kadjar is closely related to the Qashqai, sharing a common Renault Nissan Alliance CMF-CD platform and powertrains.
 
Elsewhere in the Renault range, a facelifted Zoe all-electric hatchback is destined for Australia next year, along with replacements for the current Clio, Captur and Koleos.

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