By Ronan Glon
Thursday, May 24th, 2012 @ 9:15 am
 
It is no secret that Renault is taking advantage of its close ties with Daimler to develop a flagship sedan built with Mercedes-Benz components.

When it hits the market in 2014 or 2015 the yet-unnamed flagship sedan might not be sold as a Renault. Chief Operating Officer Carlos Tavares indicated in a meeting with market analysts that Renault is considering launching a sub-division that will exclusively sell premium vehicles.

If the sub-division is created sources say that it will likely be called Initiale Paris. Initiale is the name of a trim level that generally indicates a well-equipped range-topping model in the Renault lineup. The name was also used in 1995 on a concept car that previewed a lozenge-badged flagship sedan.

How exactly the Initiale Paris name would be used is up in the air. It might operate as an entirely separate brand like Nissan's Infiniti or it might be a sub-brand similar to Citro├źn's two-year old DS line.

Sources say that Renault will decide on whether or not to launch Initiale Paris before the end of the year. The automaker is expected to make a decision on the revival of the Alpine brand at about the same time.

If both Initiale Paris and Alpine are launched Renault will have four brands in its portfolio. This does not include Samsung, AvtoVAZ or any of Nissan's brands.

Renault has been operating without a flagship sedan since the slow-selling Vel Satis hatchback was phased out in 2009.