Philippe Talou-Derible, Renault UK managing director, said: “Ideally we would like all our dealers to be able to market Vel Satis properly, but we decided, having discussed it with the dealer body, that we would need higher standards.
“At the moment we have only 35 dealers who could market Vel Satis while meeting these standards.” Vel Satis, expected to sell between 3,000 and 3,500 in the UK in its first year, will not be included in dealers' sales targets, removing pressure to force sales and risk distressing residual values. It will be priced between £20,000-£30,000, with a choice of two petrol and two diesel engines.
Renault is still looking to “slightly” reduce the number of dealer partners in line with its hub strategy.
This is likely to involve integrating more dealerships with Nissan, saving costs and pre-empting the Block Exemption shake-up, which is expected to encourage shared franchised sites.
Outlet numbers, though, will increase as Renault targets improved UK coverage.