PARIS - The new Renault Clio will not remain a single three-door/five-door hatchback supermini. It will also get a three-box sedan version, to be made and sold first in Brazil, then in other emerging markets.
Marc Dombreval, Renault marketing manager, said a Clio four-door sedan will appear in emerging markets only, mainly Brazil, Argentina, Turkey and probably Russia.
'The three-box version will be made in the Curitiba plant in Brazil, along with the current hatchback,' a Renault insider said. 'We do not plan to sell the car in Europe, except maybe in Spain.'
In the 1970s, Renault made a three-box version from its famous R5 mini, called the R7, for the Spanish market only.
The production of the Clio sedan in Curitiba could start next year. Renault will open its Brazilian plant in December and begin producing the Megane Scenic compact minivan. The Clio hatchback will follow. Capacity will be 120,000 units by 2000.
Minis and superminis make up more than two-thirds of the Brazilian car market, and three-box models are popular in emerging markets. Renault introduced the Megane sedan in Turkey in late October. Citroen will begin building a ZX sedan in Wuhan, China, in late 1998.