Opinion: Renault Megane’s exit is a true watershed moment

If cars like the Ford Focus and Renault Mégane can be ditched, stalwarts of the streetscape for 26 and 27 several years respectively, then we’re surely moving into a wholly unique automotive market. 

Funnily more than enough, I was only considering this early morning about how many of the vehicles we all grew up with will no for a longer time be about by the time the future era learns to travel. Reference points that we all employed to function off and that gave auto conversations a widespread leaping-off level will no longer use.

But you just cannot ignore the facts, especially when it comes to the Mégane. With only 793 Uk gross sales in 2021, as opposed to 21,800 of the equally quickly-to-be-axed Concentrate, it was most likely inevitable.

We in no way definitely embraced the Renault as considerably as its rivals in the Uk. To me, it generally managed a respectable, if not stellar, manufacturer identity. My next car or truck was a plain white Mégane 1.6 Alize – randomly, my father received it in a competitiveness immediately after he acquired a crane for shifting potato packing containers all around his farmyard – and I loved the ease and comfort of the squishy seats and the compliant journey. Additionally, it had air con, so among my mates in their clapped-out VW Polos, I was king. 

The next generations preserved that ethos towards consolation and useability, with the nameplate even extending to the Mégane Scenic MPV. Offered the chassis set-up, it was a reasonable work out to umbrella the two strands jointly.

Incredibly, the sizzling RS variations by no means experienced from any dilution as a consequence of that relatives-pleasant association, mainly for the reason that they were being (mainly) brilliantly engineered. Despite the fact that it took a whilst to get the Mégane RS method correct – the fat-bottomed just one of the early 2000s experienced really rubbery steering that only a Trophy version set – in the long run they earned icon status, culminating in the madcap Megane RS Trophy-R with its £70k rate-tag and stringent diet plan. 

I’ll pass up that regularity of being aware of that a new hatch was coming and that an RS edition would soon follow. It was a pink letter day that you could established your highlights calendar to. 

There’s also a broader worry about what all this suggests for the brand name by itself. To me, the optics of this shift is an appealing position. Corporations will need to be profitable but they also need to have to be viewed to be productive, and by canning vehicles that have developed up a first rate following in excess of the a long time, are they in threat of sweeping absent all that goodwill and manufacturer association?