Economy, Business And Markets

Renault Returning With Two Models

Renault Returning With Two ModelsRenault Returning With Two Models

Renault has announced that it is re-entering the Iranian car market with two new offerings. The first is the new version of the very popular Renault Clio. The second of is the Renault Captur, a mini-crossover vehicle which is likely to fill the gap in the market for mid-size cars with a higher ground clearance.

The Clio4 is a mid-size hatchback with low fuel consumption. It will be produced with knock-down kits from the company's main factories in Europe. The Captur is based on the fourth generation Clio, using similar parts, and incorporates design lines from a concept design revealed in 2012.

Both the Clio and the Captur achieved 5-Star rating at the 2013 EuroNCAP tests in Germany. Currently, no date has been set for full production to start as the French company is waiting to see if Iran and the P5+1 will agree to a long anticipated nuclear energy deal. Renault's absence from the Iranian car market, along with Citroen and Peugeot, has been felt over the past few years. In 2013, Renault along with a host of other European and East Asian car companies exited the Iranian car market over sanction threats from the US government. Renault in particular was considerably hurt by the pullout, with many employees at their plants in France forced to lay off due to drop in sales.

In the aftermath of last year's interim nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1, a group of French businessmen and other top delegates visited Tehran to meet with government and trade officials. Among the group were representatives from the French auto sector, who immediately began negotiating with their former Iranian counterparts for a possible resumption of ties. Currently, a few Renault models are produced locally in the Iranian market. The models include the Dacia Logan I (Romanian subsidiary), known as the L90 Tondar in Iran's market, which is produced by three different local manufacturers. There is also the Renault Megane II produced by Pars Khodro. Renault also has contracts to jointly export cars such as the Dacia Duster (Renault Duster), Megane III (Renault Scala), Safrane, Koleos and Fluence to Iran.