Bruno Morange, Senior vice president, Renault Commercial Vehicles
Launched at the European Road Transport Show in Amsterdam, the new Kangoo Van and Kangoo Van Compact won't be on sale in the UK until the third quarter of 2008. Why are British customers having to wait so long given that left-hand drive countries will get the former in January and the latter in May/June?
It's a question of scheduling and volume. Our biggest volume sales are in left-hand drive markets so we're putting left-hand drive models into production first, with right-hand drive versions coming along immediately afterwards. It's a complex programme with almost 200 different variants and we have to proceed step-by-step. We won't get them all into production until the end of next year. However, the right-hand drive version of the current Kangoo will be available until September 2008.
How many new Kangoos do you expect to sell annually, including the Compact?
In 2009, our first full production year, we hope to sell from 230,000 to 250,000. Half the total will be vans and half passenger vehicles.
How many Compacts do you aim to sell each year?
We're talking about a niche product, so it will probably be around 30,000.
Renault is in the driving seat at Rumanian manufacturer Dacia these days. Do you have any plans to sell the budget-price Dacia Logan Van — already on sale in Rumania and Bulgaria — in Western Europe?
It's not an idea I would discard.
Would you market it as a Renault, or as a Dacia?
As a Dacia.
How are Trafic sales going?
We're very happy with them. The only problem we have is the need to increase production to satisfy demand. It's the same with Master. Next year, however, we'll be raising the output of both models — by 20 per cent in the case of Trafic — and I'm confident we'll be able to get back to a one month lead time, certainly so far as Master is concerned. At present it is two months.
Is demand being driven by orders from Eastern Europe?
Not to any great extent. We've tended to allocate production to the countries that are the most rewarding for us and East European customers are a bit short of money. As a consequence they've been somewhat disappointed compared with customers in Western Europe.
What's your environmental strategy?
We've developed vans that will run on a 30 per cent biodiesel mix and for the future we're working to decrease CO2 emissions. Our aim is to bring our vehicles down to an average of below 200g/km and possibly below 160g/km.
Sometime ago we discussed the possibility of Trafic and Master being sold in the USA. Has any progress been made in that direction? Both vehicles would represent a massive improvement on most of what's on sale there at present.
The USA is about 30 years behind the times so far as light commercials are concerned. Renault doesn't have a network there but General Motors may decide to adapt a derivative of the Master to meet US regulations, although this is still under discussion.
How soon before we see an all-new Master?
Before the end of the decade.