PARIS - Renault Chairman Louis Schweitzer may create a second brand for emerging markets where a Renault is an upscale car.
The downscale brand would be robust but not as refined as a Renault. It would apply to models specifically designed for emerging markets such as China or India.
'In China, the first car which the average customer will buy in the next few years will not match automatically the requirements in western Europe,' he said.
These models would likely be made with local partners. This will not prevent Renault from selling its current range as a 'premium' brand in these countries.
'It's easier to create an entry-level brand than a premium brand,' added Schweitzer. He spoke at the opening of Renault's $900 million new technical center in Guyancourt, west of Paris.
One 'luxury' model getting a world-wide name is the Megane Scenic compact minivan. Schweitzer announced a deal to build the Scenic in China, with the Beijing Automotive Industry Corp., which assembles the Jeep Cherokee. Schweitzer did not give a production target.
Renault also plans to make the Scenic in Malaysia, South Africa and Brazil.