If ever there was a debate about automobiles and how the French was a part of it, one could be rest assured that the multinational automobile manufacturer Renault which was established in 1899 would be part of that debate. Renault has been around for a long time and the company is known for producing a host of vehicles of different categories ranging from cars, vans and even trucks, tanks and busses in the past not to mention a wide range of engines suited for aircrafts. As of 2016, Renault wrestled itself into 9th place as the largest automaker in the world based on volume of production. The alliance established between the trio (Renault, Mitsubishi and Nisan) established them as the biggest seller of light vehicles in the world which saw Volkswagen AG falling off its throne. The Renault brand or marque has over the years managed to absorb some very exclusive European brands such as the Alpine and also managed to move into large Japanese corporations such as Nissan owning a 43.4% controlling stake in the world largest automaker. Renault also owns a 1.55% stake with Daimler AG of Germany. What most people do not know however, is the fact that the French government actually owns 15% of Renault.
History in Brief
Founded on February 25, 1899 by the brothers Louis, Marcel and Fernand Renault as Société Renault Frères, the company was a shooting star as far as the automotive industry was concerned. Louis was an engineer, young, intelligent and innovative and who already had in store a few prototypes that he designed on his own before he teamed up with his siblings who were true blooded merchants. The chemistry that was developed among the brothers resulted in the company manufacturing its own engines by 1903 and by 1905 had secured a contract to supply for a fleet of taxis. The arrival of the war only saw the company gaining headway as Renault vehicles were required for the war effort. The financial stability however is directly attributed to the fleets of taxis that dotted London and Paris all of which built by Renault. Another driving factor literally that propelled the company into the mainstream automotive stage was the fact that Renault became the best-selling foreign brand in New York between 1907 and 1908. The company’s quality control measures and dedication to the driving experience is still considered as being the best, however this did not save the company from the recent spate of recalls of Renault badge bearing vehicles.
Renault recalls are also the result of 3rd party products that the company subcontracts to produce specific items. This scenario is quite similar to the recalls by most other major brands which include BMW, NISSAN, TOYOTA and many others due to unstable airbags by TAKATA, faulty brake systems and even dysfunctional seatbelts. Repairs should be undertaken by the local Renault dealership only and not third party or from owners using the Renault Repair Manual. Nevertheless, Renault must be commended for their proactive position on the matter as the company came forwards with the issues even before the complaints arrived and the manner through which the issues were rectified (by batches) only goes to show that the Renault brand lives up to its reputation for not just being classy and powerful, but also accountable for each and every one of the cars that they produce.