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Renault to push prestige with Premier expansion

Renault UK is opening a second wave of Premier Centres, taking the network from 31 to 55, as it bids to boost flagging sales of its Avantime and Vel Satis prestige models.

By spring next year the company is looking to further expand this to 80 outlets – similar to that of Lexus or Jaguar – to handle an expanding range that will include the new Espace and Clio Renaultsport V6 255. Philippe Talou-Derible, Renault UK managing director, is confident the move will deliver.

“We are disappointed with sales of the Avantime and Vel Satis, but it is a complex situation,” he says. “Today's market is a conservative one, so offering daring cars is a challenge, but our strategy is the right one and we will stick with it.”

He claims the prestige models are having a halo affecting on the rest of the range: “Customers have entered one of the Premier Centres for the first time ever and looked at an Avantime, but instead bought another model in the range.”

The nearly new market is also proving encouraging. Despite low residual predictions – CAP says Vel Satis at three years/36,000-miles is between 28-35 per cent – Talou-Derible says there is a lot of demand. “Customers are perhaps not comfortable with a £30,000 Renault, but they will go for a second-hand one at £20,000,” he adds.

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