BusinessCar walks you through the Paris motor show halls to point out the most important new models

1 Renault Megane

What is it? Third-generation, lower-medium contender in five-door hatchback and elongated three-door coupe-like forms with less polarising styling.

Why is it important to business? Must restore Renault’s flagging fortunes.

On sale? Five-door hatchback 26 November; 3dr January 2009.

Other info? It will not share the Laguna’s 100,000-mile warranty. Fleet staff are avoiding short-cycle “churn” business for higher RVs and profits. No saloon yet.

2 Ford Ka

What is it? The replacement for one of the oldest cars on sale. The first generation Ka was launched in 1997.

Why is it important to business? The previous Ka was a multiple winner of our Supermini of the Year award, and despite its age is still the biggest-selling fleet model in its sector, ranking 45 in the top 100 models chart for the first half of 2008.

On sale? January 2009.

Other info? The first diesel Ka will also be the first time Ford and Vauxhall have shared an engine – both it and the Vauxhall Corsa use the same 1.3-litre unit from Fiat.

3 Toyota Avensis

What is it? Bigger, bolder UK-built fleet mainstay with Honda Accord-esque front-end and three sub-160g/km diesel engines possessing more power and torque than existing units.

Why is it important to business? Toyota’s fleet standard-bearer is seeking to raise its game in terms of road presence, interior space, refinement and quality.

On sale? January 2009.

Other info? No hatchback, which is something of a surprise, but it does have Lexus-style technology involving pre-crash and active cruise control safety systems.

4 Chevrolet Volt

What is it? The Chevy Volt takes us further down the road to ultra-low emission motoring. The plug-in rechargeable car backed up by a petrol engine can do an emissions-free 40 miles before the electric motor chips in to charge the battery.

Why is it important to business? This could be the next step for petrol-electric hybrids – GM claims around 100mpg even when using the petrol motor.

On sale? 2012.

Other info? There will also be a Vauxhall-badged version, likely to be launched before the Chevrolet model arrives in the UK.

5 Honda Insight

What is it? Honda’s hybrid for the masses. Coming in at around £14,000, the five-door Insight sits below the Civic Hybrid as the firm’s second petrol-electric model.

Why is it important to business?It’s a £14k lower-medium Ford Focus rival capable of 61mpg and falling into the 10% BIK banding. Honda hopes the new Insight will open up hybrids to a new breed of buyer thanks to the lower P11D price.

On sale? March 2009.

Other info? The Japanese firm says it will struggle to meet demand, with 2009 supply limited to 10,000 cars.

Other cars that caught the eye.

Audi A4 TDIe concept: Audi says the production version will match the concept’s 105g/km emissions figure when it’s released in about 12 months’ time. On sale? October 2009.

Chevrolet Cruze: Classy-looking Ford Focus rival coming with a choice of two diesel and two petrol engines. On sale? April 2009.

Chevrolet Orlando concept: Concept in name but the seven-Seat Mini-MPV will be launched with almost identical styling as a rival to the Dodge Journey. On sale? October 2009.

Lexus IS250C: Petrol-only rival for BMW 3-series convertible uses steel coupe/convertible format. On sale? Summer 2009.

Nissan Pixo: A collaboration with Suzuki produces this Nissan-badged version of the Alto. The 65PS 1.0-litre engine returns 103g/km, the lowest in Nissan’s range. On sale? June 2009.