Renault will continue to develop a successor to its conventional five-door family hatchback, the Megane, even though senior sources openly admit that a SUV rival to the Nissan Qashqai is already in the pipeline.
Said to be called the C-Cross in internal planning, Renault's new SUV is expected to arrive towards the end of 2015. High-level company officials suggest that the lack of a predecessor has allowed Renault's approach to the car and its styling to be more radical than Nissan's.
Renault has also launched a face-lifted version of the current Megane at the Frankfurt motor show but the company's Executive Vice-President for Product Planning, Philippe Klein, confirmed to What Car? that an all-new successor to the model will be built.
'As we all know, crossovers and SUVs are a growing segment and we want to be a part of that,' Klein said. 'We have started with the Captur and more will come. That does not mean there is not a place for what you call "conventional" C-segment [Golf rival] models, however.
'In fact, these cars are still popular worldwide and when you're planning a product portfolio, you have to think globally. Before 2000, around 11% of our cars were sold outside of Europe. Now, the ratio is 50:50 and before long I think we will see as much as 60% of our cars sold outside of Europe.
'In many of those regions, like Russia and Asia, the C-segment hatchback and saloons are still very popular.
'What we have to do, and are doing, is to explore how we can be competitive in all of the different markets by taking the same genes in the car and then tailoring them to local tastes. We already do this to a certain extent, with a car that's built in Russia, Korea, Turkey and France but which we have the ability to adapt.'