French on the move

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Renault have just announced two new additions to their range, an estate version of the Renault 12 and automatic versions of the Renault 16TL and TS. The Renault 12 estate has been developed directly from the saloon but features stronger rear suspension, thicker anti-roll bars and larger rear brakes. The estate body blends into the lines of this popular car well and gives excellent carrying capacity. The price of the car is £1,059.

The new automatic transmission from Renault features an electronic decision maker for its three speeds. First and 2nd speeds can be held and there is also a kick-down. Offered as optional extras on the two Renault 16s, the automatic adds £130 on to the price of the model.

Announcing the news, M. Basiliou, Managing Director of Renault Ltd., also gave some interesting figures to illustrate the growth of this Company, which ten years ago had only one model but now boasts of twelve models on five basic and all successful designs. During 1970 Renault manufactured 1,150,000 cars, a rise of 14% over the previous year, and thus became Europe’s third largest car manufacturer. Exports were up too, and, by selling 677,000 vehicles out of France, Renault can claim to have a larger export than the whole of the British Motor Industry. That is Something for Lord Stokes to think about.

However, much of this can be attributed to M. Basiliou’s British operation for his Company has sold in Britain approximately 31,000 cars during 1970, an increase of no less than 55%, and a similar increase is expected in the coming year.

Another French Company, Peugeot, are also hoping for a larger slice of the British market. At present they sell only 2,000 vehicles here a year, which is surprising considering some of the excellent cars in their range, but there is a projected increase to 14,000 in 1974.

To this end a new subsidiary has just become operational called Peugeot Automobile United Kingdom Ltd., who have taken over the import, marketing and promotion of Peugeot cars from a Concessionaire. M. Bernard Terquem, the Company’s Managing Director, said that the new firm would be improving the dealer network and generally setting up a proper foundation for larger sales. Peugeot UK are based at 79-81, Uxbridge Road, Ealing, London, W5.