Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi Alliance Being Overhauled
The strategic partnership between France’s Renault and Japan’s Nissan has been a tenuous alliance throughout most of its history. However, the duo is attempting – once again – to tweak the nature of their complicated relationship in the hopes it produces better cooperation and reduced animosity.
Renault’s Alpine Brand Allegedly Coming to America
Renault is vying to get the Alpine brand into the United States by 2028. Though it curiously doesn’t seem interested in selling the A110 enthusiasts have been gushing about ever since the rear mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive sports car was revived in 2017. Instead, the French automaker wants to go with electrified crossovers.
Renault Launches Built-In Waze App for France, Interested?
Waze has become an incredibly popular navigation tool for drivers, growing from just a few thousand users in 2008 – back when it was still called FreeMap Israel and Linqmap – to a whopping 140 million monthly active users spread across 185 countries by 2022. This surging popularity has been attributed primarily to Waze offering features that allowed drivers to share travel details that would be of use to other drivers, pinning things like the location of speed traps, wrecks, and construction, or simply helping the application estimate route times. But it’s only ever been a mobile app that can be mirrored to your dashboard – until now.
Noting that Waze is the most commonly used driving application in France, Renault has partnered with the company to deliver a dedicated version of the app for its vehicles.
Could Alpine Come to Our Shores?
French automaker Alpine, which is a subsidiary of Renault, could be coming to America.
Report: Renault Considering Separate EV Business, IPO for Assets
Renault SA is reportedly mulling over the possibility of undergoing extensive restructuring, followed by an initial public offering for its electric vehicle assets. While the company had hinted that splitting itself into separate EV and combustion brands was a possibility in February, it wasn’t taken all that seriously. At the time, numerous automakers had suggested dividing themselves along similar lines.
But Ford Motor Co. announced it would actually be going ahead with the plan in March and Renault appears to be similarly warming to the idea, based on a meeting held last week between upper-level management and analysts. This included CEO Luca de Meo and CFO Thierry Pieton, both of whom allegedly acknowledged the real possibility of a split at the French automaker and the subsequent IPO.
The Grand Tour's "Carnage a Trois" Episode Falls Largely Flat
Rare Rides: A Collection of Four Classic Renaults, of Fuego and 17 Gordini Varieties
Today is one of the few occasions where Rare Rides presents a curated collection of cars for your review.
A serious Francophile in Minnesota has amassed a collection of trois Renault Fuegos et un 17 Gordini. Has a more exciting sentence ever been published? I think not.
Rare Rides: The Absolutely Epic 2002 Renault Avantime, a Big Sales Flop
Today’s Rare Ride is one of those that’s always been on the to-do list, but never floated to top of mind. That changed the other day, when this very tidy example was posted on Twitter.
Let’s talk about Privilege.
Rare Rides: The 1984 Renault Rodeo, a Plastic Truck for Fun Times
Today’s Rare Ride was a unique offering in Europe in its day, though not an original idea. Simple as pie, it’s plastic, low-powered, and meant for adventure!
It’s a Renault Rodeo, and someone’s taken the trouble of importing this one to California.
Rare Rides: The 1997 Renault Sport Spider, Track Car for the Road
Today’s Rare Ride is equally at home on a track or on a road. Lightweight and minimalistic in its approach, the Renault Sport Spider has only the things you need to drive, and nothing else.
Let’s check out this bashful looking sports car.
Crawling Back? Renault Still Eager to Merge With Fiat Chrysler, Report Claims
The proposed merger between two auto giants — Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles — went nowhere earlier this year, but the door to the deal never swung fully shut. That’s according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, in which sources claim talks are ongoing to rekindle the romance.
FCA snatched away its offer in June after the French government, which owns 15 percent of Renault, intruded into discussions, citing a need to have alliance partner Nissan fully on board. The Japanese automaker, embroiled in scandal and a serious financial slump, kept its distance from those earlier talks, offering polite but unenthusiastic public support as reports emerged of concerns about its autonomy and shrinking influence under such a marriage.
To get the deal back on track, Renault would need to loosen its ties with Nissan.
Ghosn Professes Innocence in Court Hearing
Ghosn, with the help of his team of lawyers, earned the right to speak in a packed Tokyo courtroom on Tuesday, and he used his time efficiently.
Described as looking gaunt, the jailed Renault CEO and ex-Nissan chairman claimed he was “wrongly accused” at the Tokyo district court hearing, adding that there’s nothing improper about the way he managed his finances.
Carlos Ghosn Re-arrested Following New Allegation
Just yesterday, it looked as if Renault CEO and former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn might make it out of jail by the weekend. Japanese prosecutors had another idea, however. The industry titan was re-arrested Friday morning on suspicion of aggravated breach of trust, pushing the possibility of bail and a hotel Christmas further from the realm of possibility.
Detained since his initial Nov. 19 arrest, Ghosn is now accused of covering losses incurred through derivatives trading with Nisan funds. Those losses — totalling $16.6 million — took place in 2008.
Renault Keeps Ghosn as Chairman and CEO As Probe Reveals No Wrongdoing
Two automakers, two investigations, and two very different outcomes for one man.
Renault’s board of directors met in France today, deciding that CEO and chairman Carlos Ghosn should stay on in his current role in the wake of an internal investigation that members say showed no signs of criminality. Meanwhile, Ghosn sits in a Tokyo jail, indicted on charges of financial misconduct at Renault’s alliance partner, Nissan.
Away from the Paris streets, it seems everything’s hunky dory in France.
Amid Strained Relationship, Nissan Hands Renault the Straight Dope on Ghosn
Nissan’s board didn’t wait long to oust Carlos Ghosn as chairman following his Nov. 19 arrest, but alliance partner Renault’s board stood firm, awaiting more information. The waiting continued as Mitsubishi voted to drop Ghosn as chairman.
The disgraced executive, indicted this week by Japanese authorities on charges of underreporting his income by tens of millions of dollars, remains in a Tokyo lockup but still holds the title of Renault CEO. If the French automaker’s board finds the contents of a dossier delivered by Nissan compelling, that status could soon change.
Ghosn, Nissan Indicted by Japanese Authorities
Carlos Ghosn, his right-hand man, Greg Kelly, and the automaker Ghosn headed for years have been indicted by Japanese authorities following the pair’s re-arrest. The new raft of financial allegations raised last week gave the authorities the ability to keep Gosn and Kelly locked up until official charges could be laid.
Nissan, whose board ousted Ghosn as chairman shortly after his November arrest in Tokyo, didn’t get a free pass in the matter. Apologies were in order, but legal pain awaits.
Renault's Ghosn, Arrested Two Weeks Ago, Faces Re-arrest
He won’t have to travel far. Carlos Ghosn, who was booted as Nissan chairman following his November 19th arrest in Tokyo, will reportedly be re-arrested on a new claim of financial misdealings.
The new allegations, which also involve underreported income, give Japanese authorities what they’ve been looking for — more time with which to lay formal charges. Under the current extension granted late last week, Ghosn would have to walk free on December 10th. If re-arrested, it’ll mean a meager Christmas for the industry giant.
Ghosn's Detention Extended; Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Say They're in This Thing Together
Fallen auto industry magnate Carlos Ghosn can stay in a Tokyo detention center for another 10 days, following an extension approved Friday by Japanese authorities. Arrested two weeks ago on suspicion of underreported income and other potential financial crimes, Ghosn will be released on December 10th if authorities fail to lay charges — though no one expects that to happen.
Despite their disagreement on how the Ghosn affair should be handled, the three automakers Ghosn once reigned over have put forward a unified front. We’re all good, the chummy Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance claims.
Board Meets, and Ghosn's (Almost) Gone From Nissan
As expected, Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn ended the week with fewer titles than when he started. The automaker’s board of directors voted to remove the executive, instrumental in creating the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance powerhouse, on Thursday, just three days after his arrest on suspicion of under-reported income and misuse of company assets.
The move came as Renault, which hasn’t made decision on whether to remove Ghosn as CEO, found itself at loggerheads with its alliance partner. The French automaker urged caution in the matter, perhaps fearing that Ghosn was the glue holding everything together.
With Charges Still Not Laid, Ghosn to Be Treated 'As a Burglar'
Disgraced industry phenom Carlos Ghosn, who still holds the title of Nissan chairman and Renault CEO (though likely not for long), could remain in custody for some time as Japanese authorities take their time in laying charges.
The news of Ghosn’s arrest amid allegations of severely underreported income fell like a hammer Monday morning, shaking the stocks of the automakers Ghosn guided since their tie-up at the end of the last century. From an opulent private jet to a sparse Tokyo jail cell, the auto titan’s journey this week surprised everyone.
Renault-Nissan Boss Carlos Ghosn to Be Sacked; Industry Titan Faces Arrest in Japan
Carlos Ghosn, the globe-straddling executive behind the Renault-Nissan Alliance and the resurrection of Mitsubishi Motors, has reportedly been arrested in Japan following a whistleblower-prompted investigation into financial irregularities.
In a statement, Nissan said Ghosn and board director Greg Kelly allegedly violated Japanese financial laws by under-reporting compensation levels for years, all part of an apparent plot to hide Ghosn’s actual level of compensation. The automaker will move to remove Ghosn, thus ending a long and successful era of governance.
Rare Rides: Soar Like an Eagle With the 1988 Renault Medallion
The Rare Rides series has featured a few Renaults from the Eighties and Nineties previously, and even one sporty coupe which shared a showroom with today’s Rare Rides subject. It’s the family-friendly Renault Medallion, in comfortable grey wagon guise. Let’s take a look.
Ghosn to Step Down As Renault CEO Before End of Term
It appears as if Carlos Ghosn will step down as chief executive of Renault prior to the end of his term. While he’ll likely continue serving as chairman of Renault and CEO and chairman of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, he’s planning to lighten his load with the French automaker.
Despite having renewed his contract with Renault, which runs until 2022, the 64-year-old executive previously said he’s wearing too many hats. Ghosn stated at the time that he hoped to scale back his workload before retiring. Apparently, the next step in that process involves ditching his day-to-day duties as a chief executive.
Rare Rides: A 1990 Renault Alpine GTA, Par Excellence
Rare Rides: The 1984 Renault Fuego, or Feu D'Artifice
Back in the early 1980s, Renault/Jeep/AMC dealers sold quite the assorted lineup of vehicles in the North American market. Shortly after it obtained a 59 percent ownership stake in AMC, Renault launched a new sporty coupe that was assuredly lit.
Come along and check out the Fuego.
Ghosn Says Slow Your Roll on the Renault-Nissan Merger, Then Confirms the Possibility
As Renault and Nissan discuss ways to strengthen their bond, Carlos Ghosn is asking everyone to slow their roll on the prospect of a merger. Despite continuously nudging the alliance in that direction, the CEO and chairman is often hesitant to discuss unification as anything more than a hypothetical. So this is par for the course.
“I don’t think you’re going to see it this year or next,” Ghosn said on Wednesday. “Lots of mergers collapse and destroy value — the strength of any company is the ability to motivate people, and how how are you going to do that if some of these people consider themselves second-class citizens.”
The second-class citizens he’s referencing are, presumably, Nissan employees seeking more influence within the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. A large part of the group’s current strategy is to find ways to give the Japanese automaker more of a say in product development and operations.
Rare Rides: A Renault R5 Turbo Is Your Hot Hatch Dream From 1984
We’ve had a couple of Renaults featured on Rare Rides previously. Starting out gently with the Kenosha, Wisconsin-built Alliance GTA, we kicked it up a notch with Renault’s second generation 5 GT Turbo.
But that hatchback was sort of a pretender using the 5 Turbo name. Let’s look at the original one, which was altogether more serious.
Rare Rides: This 1990 Renault 5 GT Turbo Is Le Car's Big Brother
Ah, bygone French cars. Citroen, Peugeot, and Renault all abandoned the American market by the early 1990s, leaving behind mostly memories of poor reliability and shoddy trim on underpowered little cars. But those in the know are aware of the other side of the coin. It’s the side where France was (is?) great at producing hot hatchbacks. French style and engineering came together to compete with the founder of the breed, the Volkswagen GTI.
For those people, today is a special day. Presenting the Renault 5 GT Turbo:
France Says 'Au Revoir' to Some of Its Renault Stake
A couple of years ago, the French government increased its stake in Renault to 19.73 percent, boosting its influence and secure double voting rights for longer-term investors – itself included – in an alleged attempt to block a resolution that could’ve reduced its control over the company.
At the time, many viewed it as a challenge aimed squarely at Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn and decried the use of the company as a political football. Today, the French government sold 14 million Renault shares, cutting its stake back to 15 percent.
Rare Rides: 1987 Renault Alliance GTA, the Sporty Franco-American Hybrid
Today we bring you a very special, semi-complicated Rare Rides. It’s an unusual little sports coupe bearing a French diamond on the front, a Wisconsin-made sticker inside the door, and red GTA badging on the sills.
Come check out the Renault Alliance GTA.
QOTD: The Worst Model Names of Them All?
It happened quite by accident last week, as good ideas often do. After last Wednesday’s Rare Rides post concerning the Nissan Stanza Wagon, reader comments got a little sidetracked. Dal20402 lamented there had never been a worse name for a car than Axxess (the Stanza Wagon’s successor).
Before I could unplug TTAC from the Canadian outlet on the wall, other commenters were jumping in with their terrible name suggestions. Seemed like a fun game, so today we open the floor to everyone’s suggestions.
Give us your submissions for the worst-ever automotive model names.
Rare Rides: The 1986 Vixen is a Turbocharged, Manual, BMW-powered Motorhome
Our previous Rare Rides RV entry was the forgotten Mauck Special Vehicle, or MSV. With its custom fiberglass assembly and butterfly doors (go look at it!), it really seemed like the jackpot of unusual recreational vehicles. However, the B&B quickly informed me this was not the case, and that an even more interesting and unusual RV existed in the form of the Vixen. The shame from this error in judgment was unparalleled.
Time to move past that folly, though, as we just happen to have a Vixen RV right here.
QOTD: What's the Biggest Piece of Crap From the Year of Your Birth?
Earlier this week in his Question of the Day, Matthew Guy asked everyone to share a favorite vehicle from their year of birth. An interesting walk through history ensued in the days following, and I encourage each of you to head there and read through the comments if you haven’t done so already. You’ve probably already guessed from the title above where I’m going with this particular question.
Today’s inquiry is all about the worst, steamiest pile of junk on sale the year you were born. Let’s get down and dirty.
Keep Us In Business or We'll Blow Everything Up: French Supplier to Automakers
They do protests a little differently in France. A French supplier of brackets, bumper and steering column components to Renault and PSA Group might soon close down for good, so the shop’s unionized employees figured it would be best to turn its protest efforts up to “11.”
That apparently means destroying the equipment used to make those essential parts, as well as threatening lives by rigging the factory to explode.
So. Much. Passion.
Renault and Nissan Will Share EV Platform, Postponing the Leaf's Future
Renault and Nissan will build the next-generation Zoe and Leaf electric cars using a shared platform. The cooperative endeavor should result in leaner, cleaner, and better EV technologies — something the Japanese automaker needs to implement immediately in the helplessly floundering Leaf.
While the models will have their own distinct styling, they will share the same basic framework and electric motors. Arnaud Deboeuf, senior vice president of Renault-Nissan BV, said that the new generations of the Zoe and Leaf would compete in the same segment. However, since the current Zoe is a supermini, it will need to be sized up into a compact or the Leaf will need to be miniaturized slightly.
France Hits Back at Germany, Opens Orders for Resurrected Alpine Brand
Dormant since 1995, Alpine is re-opening shop and taking reservations for its “Première Édition” — an exclusive version of its forthcoming rival to the Porsche 718.
In 2012, Renault announced plans to join forces with British track car wizard Caterham to develop a new platform for a shared sports car for Alpine and Caterham (think Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86). Seemingly disinterested in making anything even remotely useful off-track, Caterham abandoned Alpine to carry on with the project alone.
After dropping the Vision Concept earlier this year, Renault is now ready to take orders for the unnamed, A110-inspired Alpine model and officially bring the French performance brand back from the grave.
Renault Finds a New Partner to Help Boost Sales: Iran
Few good news stories seem to originate in Iran, but Renault wouldn’t agree.
The French automaker has inked a deal with the government of Iran to massively boost vehicle production in the middle eastern country.
Zero Stars: Watch These Indian-Market Cars Prove What Death Traps They Are
Three versions of a Renault hatchback spectacularly failed their frontal crash tests in India, earning them zero out of five stars, even with an available airbag.
It’s food for thought for the 125,000 Indian buyers who placed orders for the subcompact coffin, but the Renault Kwid isn’t alone in flunking Global NCAP testing in that car-hungry country.
The Maruti Suzuki Celerio, Maruti Suzuki Eeco, Mahindra Scorpio and Hyundai Eon also failed to earn a single star, reports Business Standard.
Nissan-Renault CEO is Ghosn, Ghosn, Gone From AvtoVAZ Board
The Russian automaker that manufactures Lada vehicles won’t see Carlos Ghosn at its board meetings after this June.
The Renault-Nissan CEO and chairman is expected to be replaced as chairman of AvtoVAZ at the company’s June 23 shareholders meeting, the automaker has stated, with Dr. Serguey Skvortsov taking his place.
Ghosn remains the chairman of Alliance Rostec Auto BV, the holding company that controls AvtoVAZ. Renault-Nissan bought a majority stake in the company, which is a joint venture with Russian Technologies, in 2012.
UPDATE 3: Renault Says Investigators Did Not Find 'Defeat Device' Evidence
Agents from France’s Economy Ministry’s fraud office last week raided the headquarters of automaker Renault, as well as other sites in Guyancourt and Lardy, as part of a probe into heavily polluting diesel vehicles in the European country. Specifically, the agents were said to be looking into “possible engine-rigging to dodge pollution controls,” reported RFI.
Renault stated that investigators found “no evidence of a defeat device equipping Renault vehicles,” Reuters reported.
Renault is now the second automaker to be investigated on a deeper level after Volkswagen admitted to falsifying CO2 emissions data in Europe and implementing a “defeat device” in diesel vehicles worldwide.
Report: Nissan, French Government Strike Deal in Renault Spat
Nissan and the French government struck a deal Friday to end a dispute over how much influence the state has over the carmaking alliance between the Japanese automaker and Renault, according to Renault.
The French government will cap its voting rights between 17.9 percent and 20 percent in non-strategic shareholder decisions, and will preclude “interference” by the government in Nissan by Renault. Renault, which is partially state-owned, is Nissan’s largest shareholder.
Earlier this year, France passed a law that would have given the government increased voting rights in the alliance, perhaps in an attempt to forge a stronger partnership between the two automakers.
German Environmental Group Claims Renault Van Pollutes Up To 25 Times Euro Limit
A German environmental group said Tuesday that its testing has revealed Renault’s Espace, when equipped with a 1.6-liter diesel engine, could emit up to 25 times the allowable limit of nitrogen oxides with a warm engine running on roads — or you know, the real world.
According to the New York Times, the Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) didn’t directly accuse Renault of including cheating software in its cars — a la Volkswagen — but said the van polluted significantly less when the engine was cold. The results could show the schism between European testing standards — where tires can be over-inflated, doors taped up, batteries disconnected, seats removed — and real-world conditions.
Renault said in a statement Tuesday that its van complied with regulations and that tests done by researchers at the University of Bern “are not all compliant with European regulations.”
RUMOR: Aston Martin Tipped For Deal With Mercedes-Powered Red Bull Racing
The latest rumor to involve Formula 1 also involves a former Nissan executive and one of Britain’s most recognized marques.
A report from Autocar sees former world champion team Red Bull ditching their troublesome Renault power units and switching to Mercedes motivation with an Aston Martin logo painted on the air box of the single seater.
And there might be some truth to it.
Dispatches Do Brasil: Renault Re-Invents Itself in Latin America
Among the first to come to Brazil when the market was opened up again in the 1990s – after a hiatus of almost 50 years when this country closed itself off to the world – Renault has seemingly reached a limit in Brazil. Its market participation has hovered around 6 percent for years. Now, hungry for more, the French company is showing its new plans that will deeply affect their operations in Latin America at large and shake up their manufacturing base in South America, most especially Mercosur (namely Brazil and Argentina).
Volvo Entering Digital Sales, Limiting Show Appearances
Volvo may not be ready to directly sell its models to the public in the same way Tesla does, but the automaker is ready for online orders.
Ghosn Top Earner In Japan For Fourth Time In Five Years
Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn will once more be graced with the honor of being the highest paid executive at a Japanese corporation, having held the honor three previous times in the past five years.
Renault, Caterham Part Ways Over Direction Of Alpine Joint Venture
Though a new Alpine is set to come out in 2016, the new car will be lacking in English blood: Renault and Caterham have broken off their engagement to revive the historic French marque.
Renault Duster Captures India
My last post on TTAC was on the Renault Logan, but the vehicle pictured above, also a Romanian derived Dacia, is one that changed Renault’s fortunes in India overnight. After the Logan was licensed to Mahindra, Renault re-started its India innings with the launch of the Fluence and Koleos in 2011. The French automaker launched a re-badged Nissan Micra (called the Pulse) earlier this year. Renault’s monthly sales after the launch of these three cars revolved around 400 odd units, which equates to an yearly figure of around 5000 units. This gives them a 0.24% market share in India and places them in 13th position.
Review: 2010 Renaultsport Clio 200 On The Ring
The glare I received from the 997 GT3 RS driver was classical mix of shock and anger. His confused facial expression was not the result of me cutting him off, blocking his driving line, or any other error of vehicular piloting. I simply rocketed past him upon the exit of Aremberg on the Nurburgring due to two factors: I knew the track better, and I was behind the wheel of the second most impressive offering from Renaultsport, the Clio 200 Cup.
Review: 2011 RenaultSport Megane 250 Cup
I discovered the French sense of humor piloting the new Renault Megane 250 Cup through the Scottish Highlands. When I inadvertently induced a lift-off oversteer situation, I found myself staring at an oncoming tractor through a strategically placed EuroNCAP 5-star crash rating sticker on the windscreen. The team at Renaultsport might have made one of the finest hot hatches on the market today ( again!), yet its nice to know that the engineers at Renault in Paris crafted a safety cage among the best on the continent to protect you when your talent runs out, whether you impact a tractor, hedge, or stray Italian.
Review: 2010/2011 Renault Logan Expression 1.0 16v (Brazilian)
One of the reasons I jumped at the chance when invited to write for this site was that I thought there would be a lot of chances to discuss the many fundamental differences between driving in the Southern hemisphere of this world and the Northern one. One big difference is that our cars are small. Why? Taxes. Why? Only Brazilians are passive enough to take this lying down. Although continental in size, Brazil limits itself to driving puny 1.0L engines (almost 50 percent of our market). You might as well think that doesn’t work. Well, it’s time to find out.
Review: Renault Megane R26.R
Driving the Renault Mégane R26.R on the snow-covered L-10–a public road-cum-rally track near the famous Nürburgring–is an unforgettable affair. And not simply because summer tires and slush don’t mix. This particular Mégane is a stunning piece of machinery in any condition: no Stateside machine comes even remotely close. And unlike most European unobtainium, it’s no sculpted, Teutonic monument to cash-flow either. It’s French. Cheap gas, Japanese quality and the Detroit-centric Eisenhower Interstate System have given Americans no reasons to contemplate, let alone lust after, French cars in the modern era, but not having this Ferrari-killing hatchback on crack is a bummer. The Mégane R26.R is so wrong it’s gotta be right.
Review: Project Better Place Renault Laguna EV Mule
Charging stations are okay, really. Battery swapping stations are even better, and I honestly have nothing against Lithium-ion batteries. But we love cars, not infrastructure, and that’s what has been missing from our Better Place coverage: real car related stuff. So here I am, in the front seat of Better Place’s actual electric car. Of course, when I say actual, what I mean is that this is actually a Renault Laguna, a rather bland French midsize car, and one car Renault doesn’t intend to electrify in its joint venture with Better Place. So what’s its business being green in the car park with stickers all around it reading ‘EV’ and flowers emitting from its exhaust?