Paris Motor Show 2012: a tour of the competitor stands with Laurens van den Acker
Yan-Alexandre (blenheimgang.com), whose report - in French - can be read here, Ludovic (blogosports.com) and Adrien (blogautomobile.fr, the report is here) had the opportunity to discuss the highlights of the show, from Citröen to McLaren, Kia, Opel, Mercedes and Lexus. Laurens van den Acker expressed the sharp-eyed impressions of a world-class designer. It was also an opportunity to discuss Renault's position on this highly competitive scene. Some extracts from a meeting that lasted almost 2 hours.
Onyx concept car. "An interesting project in terms of pure design that is inspired by Peugeot's DNA. The sporty image creates a positive image for the brand. And it's the first time that I have ever seen copper used in a car. And the dashboard is made of recycled paper. This is an innovative exploration of the use of new materials. And the Lion is back on the grill. Does this mean something? I also wanted to restore the importance of the lozenge symbol on Renault's models. I found that it was too discreet, so I opted for a bolder and larger lozenge".
BMW i3 Concept. "This may be a concept car, but at least it proves that BMW is taking electric vehicles seriously. Everyone needs to adopt this new technology, if it is to be taken seriously. Renault has stolen a lead with its Z.E. range, and the brand new Renault ZOE in particular".
Mini Paceman. "This Mini is not so mini after all! It's an interesting idea. They offer the most compact model in every segment (cabriolet, estate, etc.). And every car blends in perfectly with the stand. They offer a real automotive experience. This is what we wanted to achieve with the Renault stand, which is more celebratory, sensual and Latin, in line with New Clio. And the same is true of Dacia, with its stand that expresses robustness, with no frills attached".
Hyundai Veloster. "Hyundai has succeeded in completely turning around its brand image in just a few years, in terms of engines, design and perceived quality. Renault is engaged in a similar process. With our Energy engines, the Z.E. range and our renewed designs, we have an opportunity to make the automobile a sign of progress. It's very exciting. But what is so interesting about the Veloster is that the future of the brand does not depend only on the success of this model. This is a sign of confidence. This is the advantage of being present on several markets. It evens out the risks, whilst allowing us to take more. And to test our customers' expectations".
Lexus LF-CC. "This is an interesting concept car. The graphics are distinctive and the exterior is very modern. Especially the shape of the rear lights. But the interior is strangely conservative. The front end is quite distinctive. Lexus is a premium brand that is not intended for the greatest number. So they can be more daring than a volume manufacturer that has to remain in the main stream. I believe that Renault must earn its position at the top of the range. Today, my job consists in consolidating our credibility with our existing models: Clio, Scenic, Espace, etc".