Renault’s History (1998-2010)

112  years ago, Louis Renault drove the first direct drive gearbox car up rue Lepic in Paris. That moment put Renault at the heart of the transportation revolution. Throughout its history, Renault has developed affordable vehicles, gone along with, and anticipated the trends and changes of the automotive world. The first Renault car appeared in 1898, eight years after the advent of the first motor car in Europe. This appearance was down to one man, Louis Renault, a pioneer who chose innovation and competition to get himself noticed.

1898 Renault Voiturette

1898 Louis Renault builds the voiturette, a vehicle equipped with two major innovations: a cardan shaft and a direct drive gearbox.

1899 Founding of the Renault Frres partnership (socit en nom collectif).

1902 Patent for a surpercharged engine.

1904 Development of the first removable spark plug.

1912 Invention of the removable wheel.

1914 One thousand Renault taxis, the “Taxis de la Marne”, are requisitioned to carry soldiers to the front.

1924 Renault adopts a diamond-shaped logo.

1929 A new plant opens its doors on Ile Sguin, in front of the Billancourt workshops.

1945 Socit Anonyme des Usines Renault is nationalized to form the stateowned Rgie Nationale des Usines Renault (RNUR).

1946 Reveal of the 4CV, the first production vehicle to be built in more than one million examples, at the Paris Motor Show.

1956 Launch of the Dauphine, “a symbol of modern times”; more than 150 patents filed in this year alone.

1959 Launch of the Estafette, a new light commercial vehicle, and Renault’s first front- wheel drive.

1961 Launch of the Renault 4, an innovative vehicle produced in more than eight million examples.

1965 Presentation of the Renault 16, the first executive hatchback, at the Geneva Motor Show.

1972 Launch of the Renault 5, which went on to be produced in 5,325,000 units. New Renault diamond-shaped logo designed by Vasarely.

1979 The turbocharged engine introduced in 1977 becomes a benchmark with Renault’s first F1 win.

1980 Launch of a new range of light commercial vehicles with the firstgeneration Trafic and Master.

1984 Launch of three models: Renault Supercinq, Renault 25 and Renault Espace, the first MPV in automotive history. Renault vehicles become “les voitures vivre” (cars for living).

1992 Launch of Renault Safrane and presentation of Renault Twingo. The plant on Ile Sguin closes its doors. The Williams-Renault team claims its first F1 championship titles, Drivers’ and Constructors’ categories.

1995 Renault S.A is floated. Reveal of Renault Mgane; Renault Scnic is unveiled one year later.

1998 Renault celebrates its centenary. Inauguration of the Ayrton Senna plant in Brazil and the Renault Technocentre in Guyancourt.

1999 The Renault-Nissan Alliance is signed. Renault acquires a majority stakeholding in Dacia.

2000 Renault acquires a 70.1% stake in Samsung Motors, leading to the founding of Renault Samsung Motors.

2001 Laguna II becomes the first car in the world to receive five stars in EuroNCAP crash tests.

Volvo Group acquisition of Renault Truck

2004 Reveal of Logan, a new automotive concept, at the Technocentre.

2006 Renault F1 Team, the 100% Renault team founded in 2002, claims its second world championship titles, Drivers’ and Constructors’ categories.

2007 Creation of the Renault eco2 label.

2008 Renault acquires a 25% stake in manufacturer AvtoVAZ, No. 1 on the Russian market with the Lada brand.

2009 New brand signature: “Drive the Change”.

2010 2010 At the Paris Motor Show, Renault unveils its full range of electric vehicles: Fluence ZE, Kangoo Express ZE, Twizy, and ZOE Preview, as well as the concept car Dezir.