PARIS -- Renault is targeting prosperous car buyers in urban areas with its Clio Initiale Paris, which will cost 3,350 euros more than standard versions of the subcompact hatchback.
The Clio Initiale Paris will meet demand for urban drivers who want a city car with luxury design and interior features, Stefan Mueller, CEO of Renault Europe, told Automotive News Europe.
“There is a growing market of buyers who prefer small cars but want to have luxury trimmings and a car with a more personalized and elegant exterior,” Mueller said.
The Clio is the first Renault to use the Initiale Paris trimline that will be used across the brand's range, competing against PSA/Peugeot-Citroen's DS brand and Ford's Vignale high-end line.
Renault has set pricing so that the Initiale Paris version of the Clio will retail in France for 3,350 euros more than in models without the trimline. Renault said pricing in other European countries will be comparable to prices in France.
The French starting price of the Clio Initiale Paris TCe 90 is 21,500 euros instead of 18,150 euros and the Clio Initiale Paris dCi 90 EDC will retail for 3,350 euros more for 25,200 euros.
Besides the Initiale Paris-badge lettering, the model’s exterior is distinguished by Xenon headlights and a rear bumper skirt. Its rear bumper is painted in a specialty black color and the exhaust pipe and parts of the trunk are in chrome. Other design features include 17-inch alloy tires, tinted backseat windows and side mirror protectors painted in a specialty black color.
On the inside, the model’s heat-adjusted front seats are in Nappa leather and the foot pedals are made from aluminum. The dashboard and door handles are aligned with leather with vanilla white stitching.
Customers also have access to a call center open seven days a week from 7:00am to 10:00am for scheduling garage appointments and technical support assistance for help with the car's infotainment system.
Renault will launch sales of the Clio Initiale Paris at the start of next year and in other European markets throughout 2015.
Renault has not said which other models will have Initiale Paris versions. The automaker unveiled an Initiale Paris concept for its new Espace minivan at the 2014 Frankfurt auto show. Renault has unveiled the latest Espace in Paris but the automaker has not yet said when an Espace Initiale Paris will go on sale.
Renault has no immediate plans to follow PSA/Peugeot-Citroen’s lead by creating a separate upscale brand. Carlos Tavares, former chief operating officer at Renault, championed Initiale Paris, which he saw developing into a standalone brand like Nissan's Infiniti in about 20 years.
Mueller said Initiale Paris will remain a trimline for now. “We do not exclude developing it further, but we will start off by positioning Initiale Paris as a trimline.”