Arabian Automobiles Renault showroom in Fujairah

European vehicle manufacturer Renault is continuing to build upon its range of GCC available models and is expanding its dealership network across the region, despite first half figures that reveal mixed fortunes for the motor industry.

The French marque posted first-half losses for the year, but was buoyed by the strong performance from its Romanian Dacia model. The surprise first-quarter profits announcement from the Japanese automotive giant, Nissan, of which Renault owns a 44% stake, is also seen as a vindication for its decision to increase unit production and its view that the outlook for vehicle sales as improving, with the GCC being one of the regions identified as a key growth area.

“Since Renault first established its UAE presence through Arabian Automobiles in 2005, demand has been strong especially for its Clio and Megane models,” revealed Mohamed Bennani, Managing Director of Renault GCC. “This has encouraged us to continue with our expansion strategy, despite the current economic downturn. The opening of new Renault showrooms such as this one in Fujairah just goes to show that certain manufacturers are capable of bucking the trend,” he added.

Renault’s Fujairah showroom opened in June this year, in part because of demand for the company’s existing available models, but also to provide another GCC outlet for new launches that are on the horizon. The showroom shares its floor space with Nissan and its establishment in a neighbouring emirate provides tangible evidence of a steady regional expansion campaign; the latest example being the launch of the new Renault Logan sedan. Bennani believes that it is vehicles such as this, which became available throughout the GCC last month that is helping to sustain Renault’s position in the market place.

Esper Nachef, Sales and Marketing Manager for Arabian Automobiles’ newly opened Renault showroom in Fujairah added: “The Logan is a very attractively priced saloon, being available at less than AED 40,000 and in the current economic climate, customers are looking for value for money without necessarily wanting to compromise on quality. People still want to stand out from the crowd and are choosing Renault because the brand offers an established reputation for quality and reliability as well as a unique European styling,” he added.

Renault GCC’s expansion strategy has been a linear one since its first dealership opened in Deira four years ago. The inaugural outlet was followed by a showroom opening along the Sheikh Zayed Road in 2006, with the company then shifting its Deira premises to a new Al Qiyada location in 2008. This facility has more floor space and is equipped with a dedicated Renault garage area and Renault trained personnel to take care of all customer servicing requirements.

Service certainly appears to be at the top of Renault GCC’s agenda, with the company having launched its ‘Customer First’ programme last year. This scheme provides 11 complimentary provisions both before and after the purchase of any Renault vehicle, including a 3-years or 100,000 km worldwide car warranty (increased from the former 60,000 km) and a dedicated call centre for maintenance bookings. “We consider that the way we look after Renault vehicle owners forms the core of our commitment to quality,” said Bennani.

In terms of its available range, Renault GCC started out by offering four models for its first two years in business, including the popular Megane and Clio hatchbacks. The company continued its launch program by releasing a new model onto the market every six months on average; with a number of special offerings. These have included the Clio Sport ‘hot hatch’ and the Koleos, the manufacturer’s first 4×4 crossover vehicle, which was launched to great fanfare on the slopes of Ski Dubai.

It appears that Renault GCC won’t be resting on its laurels anytime soon. The company is bringing over new vehicles and has a packed schedule of upcoming events, including participation in the Frankfurt Motor Show next month, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the Dubai International Motor Show. Renault GCC will also soon be launching two new eagerly anticipated vehicles; the Laguna coupe and the Clio Phase II. “We now have a greater range of Renault cars that are available across a wider area of the GCC and we will continue to release new models and add to our dealer network,” said Bennani.

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