Registrations totalled only 2,300 in the first quarter, well short of expectations for the model seen as crucial to restoring Renault’s image with Britain’s business motorists.
It wants Laguna established in the top three for quality in the D-segment.
The dismal tally – a significant factor in Renault UK’s 13% drop in sales year to date – represents a stark contrast to hopes that the all-new model would quickly revive the brand’s fortunes in the D-segment, fleet director Keith Hawes told AM.
He said: “We had a very strong ambition for this car when it was introduced six months ago, but the figures show that it takes a long time to get a new model established, particularly in this area of the market.
“Many customers were dissatisfied with the quality and durability of its predecessor, and though we’ve done a lot to reconcile that, it is taking time to get the car back onto the company user lists.
“We have already highlighted 150 new business customers, so while Laguna sales have not been as strong as we would have liked, there are signs they are beginning to build.”
Hawes added: “As higher fuel prices begin to bite, there’s every prospect our 110bhp, 130g/km versions will win fresh interest.”
Marketing director Emmanuel Bouvier added: “We have no intention of forcing volumes just to show the new model can match the sales performance of its predecessor.
There will be no distress marketing..
“Perception of the Laguna will change with the GT, which has unique four-wheel steer technology, and the coupé version will make a big difference when it arrives in October.
“I am confident that once we have established our credentials in quality, making our cars more desirable will get results.”