To boost profitability outside Europe, Renault announced the launch of eight new models by 2027. Spearheading the new strategy is the already unveiled Kardian, a compact urban crossover based on the platform of the Clio and the Sandero from its budget brand Dacia.
After rewriting its alliance with Nissan and Mitsubishi, which divided the global marketplace into three distinct areas for each brand, and the withdrawal from its Russian partner Lada, Renault needed to revive its international presence. Other geopolitical trends, like the rise of Chinese manufacturers, fuelled the rethinking of its position.
Three billion euros
At unveiling its new plan, ‘International Game Plan 2027’, the French automaker announced that it will launch eight new international models by 2027, meeting an investment of 3 billion euros spread over those four years.
The ambition is to double its sales past the European frontiers by the same deadline. In 2022, Renault sold 42% of its vehicles outside the EU, so the company is shifting its vizor from regional to global.
Some new models will feature a so-called new architecture, the CMA platform from Chinese manufacturer Geely, which also underpins the Volvo EX30 and the latest models from Smart.
Not only is there a historical collaboration between Renault and Volvo, but both brands have already made clear that they are joining forces in the electrification of the light commercial vehicle market. Renault will use the CMA structure for C- and D-segment models.
Kardian in 2024
But the first model of the new strategy will roll off the assembly lines in Brazil in 2024, as it will also be marketed in Maghreb countries. Pictures of the Renault Kardian, which sits on the group’s CMF-B underpinnings, reveal that the brand aims for the urban segment, with a more upmarket crossover than the Dacia Sandero it is based on. Technically, Renault isn’t starting from scratch but will use existing drivelines and components to boost profitability.
In many foreign markets, like South America, Renault was present as a rebadged Dacia, but the company previously stated that it wanted to end the relabeling approach. Though the Kardian shares some traits with the Sandero, it is also very different, with a digital instrument cluster, differently designed vents, and a newly styled front and back-end unveil.
‘A globalized brand’
Most likely, the Kardian will not replace the Sandero. Renault will offer it as a more upmarket alternative – many technical choices, like the safety equipment, point in that direction.
Likewise, for the driveline, it is a 125 hp and 220 Nm strong three-cylinder with a displacement of 1.0 liter. This more powerful engine is unavailable in the Sandero but will be adapted to regional preferences.
Managing Director of Renault Fabrice Camboliv told French media about the new strategy: “After leaving Russia and being absent from China and the United States, it was important to attack the regions where we were already present. What’s changing internationally for the next few years is the desire to move toward a globalized brand with more Renault DNA in terms of technology, design, and driving aids.”