PARIS (Reuters) -- Renault is close to making an announcement relating to high-end models, French Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg said in an interview.
"A certain number of decisions are about to be announced by Renault in the upmarket segment," Montebourg said in a joint interview with BFM-TV, RMC and Le Point on Sunday. "They are going to create, I believe, four upmarket models because they've decided to go and fight."
A spokesman for Renault declined to comment on Montebourg's remarks, adding that the only announcement the automaker had made so far in relation to upmarket vehicles was the next generation of the Espace starting in 2014.
"In the very short term, the major steps are the Clio 4 and the Zoe," the spokesman said.
The fourth-generation Clio -- a "faux-coupe," five-door car that looks like a sportier three-door -- is the first complete design by new style chief Laurens van den Acker, hired from Mazda three years ago to liven up the Renault brand.
The Zoe is an electric car which Renault plans to launch by the end of this year.
Initiale Paris subbrand
Last month, Renault Chief Operating Officer Carlos Tavares confimed to Automotive News Europe that Renault may launch an upscale subbrand, Initiale Paris.
Tavares said the first stage of the launch would involve Renault adding premium content to its volume models to create a subbrand similar to rival Citroen's upscale DS range. Later, the carmaker would develop specific models for a stand-alone brand, just as alliance partner Nissan has done with its Infiniti luxury marque.
Tavares has said that Renault may use technology from partner Daimler's Mercedes-Benz brand to develop luxury cars. The two automakers agreed a tie-up in 2010 to pool development and production of small cars and engines.
In addition, the automaker may consider reviving the Alpine marque to offer sports cars and create another high-end brand to sell luxury models, Tavares said in a separate interview.
Automotive News Europe contributed to this report