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Renault prepared for sustained LCV growth

Date: 19 May 2016   |   Author:

Renault is looking to break into the top five LCV brands in the UK, with the current number seven expanding its specialist Pro+ dealer network to help achieve its goals.

The company managed a 6.5% market share last year with 25,000 vans, and UK LCV product manager Steve Wilson said a medium-term goal is to get to 35,000 or 40,000 registrations per year. The 40% growth achieved in 2015 was on the back of the 39% achieved in 2014.

"Realistically, you look at Renault around Europe and we are top manufacturer, [whereas] in the UK we are seventh," Wilson told BusinessCar. "We cover all products, we've got more and more conversion product, we've got the dealer network, so there's no reason why we can't get to four or long as we grow properly, which is what we are doing.

"We're not doing rental or 5000 vans into Royal Mail, we're doing it properly with a specialist network and growing organically over a number of years," he continued. "We're still below where we should be given the quality of products."

New Renault UK managing director Paul Flanagan used his first public engagement since his move from Ford of France boss to declare that the expansion of Renault's dedicated Pro+ network - the specialist dealers that commit to extra LCV-dedicated staffing, demonstration vehicles and facilities - needs to be accelerated. Previously, the company had confirmed the network will go from 39 to 79 dealers by the end of 2017, but Flanagan said Renault will "speed it up".

Wilson said the dealers are already identified and have dedicated people in place, and that Renault also expanded its head-office sales team with the appointment of three new people to source new, large fleet business. In place at the end of last year, Wilson said he expected the additions to start reaping dividends in the second half of 2016.

Renault's UK van manager also said the arrival of the firm's new pick-up, due to be unveiled next month and on-sale late this year, will provide a volume boost for the van range. "We will have a full suite of products," he said. "When you tender with people like big utilities, they require pick-ups; we have fleets at the moment where they might buy a different pick-up - this now completes the offer."

Renault is also looking to boost the number of potential customers exposed to its vehicles with a series of Pro+ Business Booster Roadshow events, taking place at Oulton Park in Cheshire on 26 May, Bruntingthorpe, Leicestershire, on 7-8 June, Knockhill in Scotland on 14 June, and Thruxton in Hampshire on 22 June.