Table of contents:
- The beginning of the history of the largest French brand and the personality of the founder
- Expansion of the model and engine range Renault
- Aftermath of World War II and the company's acute crisis
- Modern Renault - 1990s - present
2023 Author: Charles Youmans | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-20 18:41
Renault Group is the largest automotive concern located in France. The headquarters are located in Boulogne-Billancourt. The main efforts of the company are aimed at creating popular Renault cars and low-cost counterparts supplied with the Dasia nameplate. In addition, Korea's Samsung Motor and local Bugatti Automobiles are also influenced by the company. The French managed to register in Russia as well, having seized control of AvtoVAZ. Renault also owns a little more than 40% of Nissan Motor shares, and 20.5% of shares were bought from Volvo. At the moment Renault is an official manufacturer of cars, trucks, commercial vehicles, engines and automotive components.
The beginning of the history of the largest French brand and the personality of the founder
Renault's story begins with three brothers - Louis, Fernand and Morsel Renault. The first was keenly interested in cars and was a talented engineer, on whose account there were already designed cars, despite his young age. At the age of 21, he came up with the successful idea of using a propeller shaft, equipping the transmission with a direct drive instead of the common chain drive. The first developments were brought together and the first own car, the Voiturette, was born.
The novelty was designated as a single-cylinder compact car with a capacity of only 0.75 hp. The Voiturette reached its top speed of 32 km / h. The car was sold to a friend of the father of the young designer after Louis was able to climb the car he created along the steepest rue Lepic in Paris. Recall that the ascent angle is 13 degrees. After a successful arrival, Louis received an order for 24 cars.
Initially, the Voiturette was a small self-propelled vehicle. A little later, a pair of doors and a roof were welded to the body. The debut of the new appearance with further improvements took place in 1900, when the car was brought to the Paris exhibition. The innovations used were not only used independently by the young inventor, but also by two other car manufacturers, who officially bought the opportunity to use the patented technology on their cars. As a result, Louis received dividends. In addition, the created car demonstrated agility and cross-country ability at local races, which, of course, added to the brand's popularity.
In 1900, the brothers greatly expanded their range, including the creation of larger and more powerful cars. This is how the body "double-phaeton", "landau", closed limousine, "capuchin" and light trucks appeared. In 1903, a tragedy occurs at the races, in which Marcel Renault dies, which forces the brothers to abandon personal participation, giving the reins to professional racers.
In 1905, the "Landaulet" appeared, which in a short time would become the "calling card" of a taxi. In their initial form, they were called "Browning" with a clear emphasis on black color and special shape. The First World War made this car history. They managed to transfer 5,000 soldiers to the Marne River in the shortest possible time, after which the name “Marne” stuck to the car. By 1907, the streets of major cities were filled with branded taxis. A year later, the company managed to produce 3,575 cars, which made the manufacturer the largest manufacturer in France.
In 1909, Fernand Renault passed away. The sole owner remains Louis, who renames the company Société des Automobiles Renault, or Renault Automobile Company. Among the main goals of the company, the need to bring cars to an innovative level is also indicated, in connection with which they use new production methods.
Expansion of the model and engine range Renault
After the war, Renault focused all its efforts on the production of commercial and traditional buses, relying on 6-cylinder engines. In addition, Renault produces low-power Renault engines for aircraft, which are capable of developing 45-100 horsepower.
In 1913, the company attracts the attention of the army. The high appraisal of the department makes it possible to conclude a contract for the supply of its own vehicles for the needs of the modern army. The First World War made adjustments to the development of production, where they began to produce products for the navy, including tanks, military equipment, components for cars, engines for aircraft, and even stretchers for medical units. Renault receives the Legion of Honor at the end of the war for its enormous contribution.
The end of the war made it possible to revise the lineup, focusing on agricultural machinery and industry. It was at this time that the first Renault came to Russia. These cars are used by the royal family for city trips. In 1916, the first official branch "Russian Renault" was founded. They manage to conclude an agreement with factories in Petrograd and Rybinsk, where they have established the production of airplanes, tractors and engines. The revolution interfered with the grandiose plans of the French and the enterprises were nationalized.
Despite the scale of the enterprise, the first conveyors appeared only in 1922. By 1928, almost 46 thousand cars, both small and huge, had been produced. This year, the public was shown the largest car of that time - Vivasix, equipped with a 6-cylinder in-line engine with 3180 cubic meters, working with a three-stage manual transmission. The maximum speed is 130 km / h.
A significant change in appearance occurred on the eve of World War II. The front end previously had a special shape due to the placement of the radiator behind the engine, and in the 1930s, manufacturers changed the position of the radiator, pushing it forward, which led to a change in shape and proportion. Renault of that time was made of aluminum for the most part. This material was used for the main panels, engine, brakes and gearbox. Heavy fuel engines appeared only in 1931, having entered Renault commercial vehicles. Diesel was also used for tanks. After the war ended, Renault continued to develop its aviation industry.
In the 1930s, the company was going through hard times, yielding positions to another French automaker, Citroen. The competitor produces innovative cars that are instantly gaining popularity. Everything changes with the advent of the Great Depression. Renault manages to maintain production thanks to the release of military, railway and agricultural equipment. The rival declares himself bankrupt, which allowed him to regain his position as a leading automotive company and maintain the leadership until the 1980s.
The hardest thing for the company was during the Second World War, when Louis Renault refuses to cooperate with Nazi Germany and produce equipment. The factories were badly damaged by the bombing. The owner decides to restore capacity as soon as possible, but does not have time before the liberation of France. It was only reopened in 1944, but due to suspicion and competition, things went slowly. French policy has exacerbated the relationship between supporters and opponents of communism. As a result, Renault goes into the possession of the state, and the owner is arrested. Louis Renault died in prison on October 24, 1944, without waiting for trial. Subsequently, the relatives tried to challenge the decision of the state, but the court sessions in 1945 and 1961 sided with the interim government and refused to reconsider the decision.
Aftermath of World War II and the company's acute crisis
In addition to the death of the company's founder, Renault faces several problems, including the strengthening of competitors, the unfavorable attitude of the government, etc. All this leads to the collapse of stability. The situation was saved thanks to the appearance of Renault 4, 8 and 10. Renault 10 can only be bought with rear-wheel drive. The 16th model will appear later. The company's active position in the proposal of new models bore fruit and in 1970 1,055,803 cars were produced.
In the 1960s, an official representative office was opened in Russia, 10 years later, an agreement was signed with the USSR on the joint development of the enterprise. By the 1980s, almost a quarter of Renault vehicles were manufactured on Russian territory using French technologies. Despite the switch to front-wheel drive, some models retain rear-wheel drive. Renault reserves an army of fans of the leading rear axle.
In 1972, the economical and compact Renault 5 car appeared. It brought immense popularity to the company during the 1973 energy crisis. The R5 featured a longitudinally mounted motor that directs forces to the front wheels and a torsion bar suspension. The monocoque body reduces costs during assembly, which helps to reduce the final cost of production. A little later, a sedan appeared, called Renault 7.
At the turn of the 80s, Renault signed a number of agreements with major companies that take it to a new level. Thus, new technologies allow the release of Renault 9, which receives the title of "Car of the Year" in the opinion of Motor Trend. At this moment, Renault uses an independent suspension of all wheels and a transverse arrangement of the motor. In 1983, the 3- and 5-door Renault 11 hatchback goes on sale.
In 1982, Renault achieved huge sales, second only to the German Volkswagen. At the same time, Renault Espace goes on sale - a roomy minibus that has remained the most famous minivan in Europe for two decades. True, the first version was not successful and undermined the company's image, which led to heavy losses. In 1986, the company was reanimated by the appearance of the Renault 21, which, depending on the market, was named Savannah or Nevada.
Modern Renault - 1990s - present
In 1990 Renault strengthens its position by cooperation with Volvo. The latter take on the costs of market research. As a result, a number of successful cars go on sale, the marketing strategy changes, becoming more aggressive. In the 90th, a supermini car was born - Renault Clio. In 1994, the first generation Renault Laguna was born.
May 1990 will be remembered by fans for the appearance of Clio, which uses the first digital indicators. It brings the title of "European Car of the Year" and is the best-selling car in Europe. Under the hood there are 1, 2 and 1, 4-liter petrol and 1, 7- and 1, 9-liter diesel versions. In 1997, an absolute novelty entered the market - a multi-purpose vehicle - Renault Cangu, which is still being produced in France, Argentina and Turkey, without losing its relevance.
In 1992, the Moscow representative office of the company appeared. In 1996 Renault Scenic appeared on sale, and in 1998 an agreement was concluded for the joint production of Avtoframos, where Renault Megan, Renault 19 and Clio Sambol began to be produced a year later. In 2009, Megan will give way to Renault Fluence, but at this stage the new product is very popular. In 2001, a small car Renault Simbol appeared, produced at a Turkish plant. In 2005, the construction of a plant with a full assembly cycle in the territory of the Russian Federation is completed. The first car is Renault Logan, which in a short time will become the best-selling imported car. In 2008, an agreement was signed with South Korea, resulting in a new product - Renault Koleos.
In 2010, a new production is launched and the Renault Sandero hatchback comes off the assembly line, which in Europe receives an off-road version with an increased ground clearance of up to 175 mm - Renault Stepway. A year later, the French company presents a compact crossover Renault Duster. In 2012, the French are buying out the entire stake in Avtoframos from the Russian side. In 2016, on the basis of Duster, a compact Renault Captur crossover was built with a pair of engines for 114 and 143 hp, presented with front and all-wheel drive.
The company currently occupies a leading position in sales in Russia. The French won the love of the domestic user at an affordable price, the ability to choose and buy new high quality cars. In 2015, a mid-size car Renault Talisman was presented, built on the new Commom Module Family platform. In 2018, at MIAS-2018, a bright crossover Renault Arkana was presented, which is already on sale in Russia. At the moment, a five-seater car with a large luggage compartment Renault Docker is responsible for efficiency and functionality, providing not only a modulated interior, but also a high level of safety.