By Ronan Glon
Saturday, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 12:12 pm
 
Renault surprised the auto industry in December of 2011 when it announced that it was going to axe no less than nine models from its UK lineup.

At the time, the automaker stated that it wanted to focus on the bottom end of the market with cars like the Twingo and the Clio. Many speculated that the end was near, and that Renault would eventually pull out of the UK altogether.

That is apparently not the case, and the French automaker is mulling the development of a Passat-fighting sedan that would be partly targeted at the UK.

"Fifty per cent of the upper-medium car market is in the UK and Germany. If you want to succeed in that market, you have to succeed in those countries," said Stephen Norman, Renault's marketing chief, in an interview with England's Autocar. "We can't leave the Passat to succeed on its own in the upper-medium market," he added.

If the lozenge-badged Passat competitor is given the green light by Renault's top brass, it is not expected to make its debut until at least 2016.

Normal also told Autocar that Renault is currently working on the next Laguna's design. The automaker is reportedly debating whether to offer the car as a standard four-door sedan, as a five-door hatchback like the current design, or as both. The latter option would likely involve fitting the car with a system similar to the Twindoor that is found on the Skoda Superb.

Whatever trunk door configuration is chosen, the car will likely not wear the Laguna nameplate. This decision is hardly a surprise considering the bland reputation that has been hanging over the model for about a decade.

The next Laguna is expected to make its debut in 2014, along with an all-new version of the Espace minivan.