The future of the iconic Renault Megane is uncertain as the EV market continues to grow.
After its introduction back in 1995, the Renault Megane would go on to become a staple of the French firm's compact hatchback range. Unfortunately, dwindling sales globally now has this iconic model on the chopping block.
Speaking to Auto Express, Renault's design chief, Laurens van den Acker said that the Megane's research and development costs could be used more wisely elsewhere. “The Megane is in a segment that’s increasingly under pressure. You have to put your money where the future of the market is.”
To understand what van den Acker is talking about, it helps to look at the figures. Since 2010, the Renault Megane's global unit sales have more than halved, from 465,732 at the turn of the decade, to just 205,845 in 2019. It hurts a lot more when looking at local markets. In the UK, Renault only moved 209,845 units of the Megane when their biggest competitor, Volkswagen's Golf, sold nearly 60,000 vehicles.
There are multiple reasons for this slump; the move by customers to SUVs being one, but the push towards electrification appears to be the final nail in the coffin. “Inevitably, once we’re starting to add a range of EVs to our line-up, some of the other vehicles are going to have to go because we just can’t afford to develop all of this at the same time,” van den Acker explained.
So, where does this leave the newly facelifted Renault Megane and it's gorgeous RS counterpart? Well, at the moment it's anybody's guess, but a future full of electric SUVs seems more likely by the day. In a segment under pressure, almost every manufacturer is either ramping down production or discontinuing their models.
Looking across the Atlantic to the US, for example, Ford has cancelled the new Ford Focus RS, just months after revealing their latest addition to their stable, the All-electric Mustang Mach-E.
With vehicle sales under pressure around the World, not to mention the impact of 2019s coronavirus epidemic, the future of many models of all shapes and sizes is going to hang in the balance. As manufacturers tighten their belts, we suspect more moves like this one for Renault and its Megane are going to make headlines.
Watch this space.