PARIS – Renault's future cars will share more common style elements than they did in the past, as design boss Laurens van den Acker seeks to bring a more consistent look to the French carmaker's models.
Designs that vary less between different Renault models will help the French carmaker grow its market share in an increasingly competitive market, van den Acker told Automotive News Europe in an interview.
"When you look at the last 10 years, the brands that did well were those that were coherent and consistent," he said.
More consistency between the different models will also help Renault to remain competitive against carmakers from emerging markets, van den Acker said.
"There are 40 brands in China that are knocking on the door and want to grow. There are new car companies being created in India, Brazil and [elsewhere] that have the desire to grow and explore the world as well," van den Acker said. "It is one thing for Renault to be recognized in France where we are everywhere, but once you go abroad, being visible is key. If you have a team and all of the players are wearing different shirts, then it is hard to create a team spirit."
However, van den Acker, 45, has set about to reinvent Renault as a brand, which means that his first designs will represent a break from the past. The upcoming Clio, for example, will be different than previous designs.
"I benefit from Renault's hunger to innovate because, in my case, I am a new designer and they asked me to change a lot because they felt that Renault really needed to turn a page," said van den Acker, who worked as Audi, Ford and Mazda before succeeding longtime Renault design chief Patrick le Quement in 2009. "This has given me a lot of freedom to reinvent, if you will, the design of the company."
The DeZir, Captur, and R-Space concepts that Renault introduced at the last Geneva and Paris auto shows reflect Renault's new design strategy under van den Acker.