• Sep 14th 2007 at 8:02AM
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Renault and Citroen are winding up to launch a frontal assault on the German car market. Germany is Europe's largest automotive market, filled with über-drivers that demand cars that set the performance and luxury standard for the rest of Europe, and arguably the world. The French automakers want a larger piece of the German market, as well as further global expansion, too. Renault is bringing the fight to Germany with their new Laguna. The Laguna was designed specifically to appeal to the tastes of German buyers, with Renault's German marketing department making sure the car met the needs and desires of the Deutschland buyer. Hopes are high that the Laguna will bolster profits for Renault. It's an attempt to crack into the $35,000 price range, where profits are fatter, yet buyers are more demanding.

Citroën is also trying to push into the luxury market. Long known for small and medium-sized cars, the brand's C6 is attempting to mix it up on Mercedes, Audi, and BMW's turf. Citroën has a plan to bolster its credibility as a maker of luxurious cars, such as drawing the line from the DS to the C6, while also improving the dealer and support experience to keep customers smiling. Both brands don't yet have the volume in the German market that they desire, but have pledged that Germany is crucial to their survival plans.

[Source: Reuters]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      @ Mike -

      build quality has indeed been a problem for French manufacturers. Their cars are cheaper, better equipped and they generally feature softer suspension. That wasn't enough for the picky German market, which is why Renault claims it will pay special attention to build quality with the Laguna. Reputations aren't made in a day, though.

      @ RicardoHead -

      the C6 still has hydrodynamic suspension and it's still very smooth - and very French.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I sure hope that your analogy is wrong.

      If we're talking about a language with S-V-O syntax, then three words you won't have is FRANCE, ASSAULT, and GERMANY. ;)

      Citroens are cool though.
        • 8 Years Ago
        Ha ha, tongue-in-cheek reversal of history?

        I've always been a fan of Citroen's concepts, they're beautiful. Their production cars have always fallen short though. And if Jeremy Clarkson has taught me anything, it's that the build quality of French auto's is horrible. Being in the USA though, I wouldn't personally know...
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think that the Citroën C6 could be very succesful in Germany if their V6 had some more grunt.

      And I think AWD and/or RWD would make it more interesting aswell.
      But since Citroën is all for safety, I reckon AWD with a little rear bias should do the trick.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Has Citroen abandoned that goofy variable hydraulic suspension thing they had in their upmarket cars? I remember seeing so many of those things at stoplights in Munich malfunctioning up and down and bouncing around like a lowrider in L.A. It was annoying as hell.

      Plus Renault and Citroen have major image problems in Germany.
      • 8 Years Ago
      From the article:

      "There will be no improvement in the image of Renault if we don't succeed in Germany," Renault Patrick Pelata told a briefing at the Frankfurt International Motor Show.

      "We do not have big ambitions in volumes but a very big ambition in terms of quality," he said.

      Well, I hope that's not just empty talk. I've admired many French cars for their design, but French quality has often, let's say, left something to be desired...

      Personally, I find the C6 to be one of the most stylish and distinctive cars on the road. But however much I like its looks, I'd still hesitate to buy a French car rather than something German or Japanese.

      A poor reputation hurts immeasurably. Just ask GM.
        • 8 Years Ago
        Traditionally German cars were hard and soild, French cars were very comfortable, and you replaced them after three years because they tended to rust - in England. Oh, and the Germans tended towards big engines, whereas the French went for long distance comfort, powered by smaller motors working harder. There are tax and history reasons for all this.
        Now the world has moved on. The Germans are still over-engining their cars, and the French have fantastic new road surfaces so don't need the suspension quality. All cars are melding into a similar type.
        The different marques now sell on image. Not too long ago, in Europe, nationality was important, now less so. The Germans, however, still tend towards bourgeois stolidity, whereas the French can be a bit more wacky and get away with it. The Italians are deeply conservative, but they tend to appreciate beauty in a large car, cleverness in a small one, the rest follows depending on the desire.
        Americans like big cars that can burble along reliably without giving trouble, and never mind the minutiae of handling or fuel economy.
      • 8 Years Ago

      Perhaps Renault should launch the Infiniti brand in Germany.
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