Twizy sells well, but EV sales disappoint Renault - Renault Z.E. Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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Twizy sells well, but EV sales disappoint Renault

http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/gr...ppoint-renault



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The minimalist Renault Twizy runabout has emerged as the most popular electric car in Renault's expanding range, outselling the Fluence saloon by four to one in the UK.

Over a five-month period, 252 Twizys have been sold, compared with just 64 Fluence ZEs, although the Kangoo ZE commercial van, which appeals to many city centre delivery operators, is ahead overall on 279.

The picture is repeated across Europe, according to Renault sales and marketing director Stephen Norman. “The Twizy is a big success; it's selling in line with expectations,” he said.

However, Norman doesn't pull his punches about the current disappointing performance of Renault's EV range to date. “Overall sales are running well below expectations,” he admitted. “The volume coming through is lower than we'd thought.”

Norman is now placing his confidence in the Zoe EV hatchback. It will go on sale early next year and ought to suit British buyers better than the Fluence.

“The Zoe has extraordinary roadholding because of its low centre of gravity,” he said, “and it has demonic acceleration that's delivered in absolute silence.”

More usefully, the Zoe can travel 210km on a single charge, according to official figures, which Norman reckons will allow “an effective 100-mile range”.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-19-2012, 07:52 AM
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Worldwide Sales

As of October 29th 2012 registered for on road use world wide

Twizy: 7,891
Kangoo Z.E. 4,179
Fluence Z.E. 1,663 1,090 of those are in France.


Source: http://www.automotiveworld.com/artic...-13-737-units/

Kangoo Z.E. number 5000 rolled off the assembly line a few weeks ago. Most of the van sales have been to the French government.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-06-2013, 03:07 PM
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RE: Twizy sells well, but EV sales disappoint Renault

It would help to advertise them. It would also help if the dealers "played ball" too. I ordered information TWICE about the ZOE and received one letter from the local dealer trying to sell me an Espace.

Come ON Renault. Chase up ALL enquiries, check that your dealers ARE doing their job and not hoping this EV will disappear so that they can continue to make money servicing your petrol and diesel based offerings.

I have a Toyota and their after sales service is amazing. I have had nothing at all from Renault other than a chase up email that went unanswered.

Oh, and this is before I mention my distrust of the battery lease model.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-26-2013, 02:53 AM
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RE: Twizy sells well, but EV sales disappoint Renault

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Originally Posted by GrumpyCabbie
Come ON Renault. Chase up ALL enquiries, check that your dealers ARE doing their job and not hoping this EV will disappear so that they can continue to make money servicing your petrol and diesel based offerings.
Cynicism is, inevitably, creeping in now.

I went and test drove a Kangoo ZE some months ago at a nearby dealer, said I was interested in getting more info on the 5 seat crew-cab version. Also said I'd make no decisions until I saw the Zoe, so they should give me a call and send info on that too. (I'd never seen a Fluence at that point.)

I've heard zip zero from them since then, and I've now picked up one of these press-car Fluences, so those to whom I left my information can hardly claim they didn't bother because I was a bad sales prospect and not really interested in buying a ZE!?

On the other hand, if they let the Fluence flop it may have rubbished its value enough by the time my lease-purchase agreement finishes that I'd be looking for a give-away price to take it off their hands.

Ghosn might have sunk $5bn into EV development already, but it looks to me for all the world like there are insiders in Renault who want it to belly flop.

Every EV passenger car programme in the past has failed, or been allowed to fail, and there's no current reason to think Renault ZE passenger cars will follow a different path to the likes of the GM EV1. The only difference this time around is the enormity of the Gov/company investments, but that is still no guarantee of success.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-26-2013, 03:01 AM
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RE: Twizy sells well, but EV sales disappoint Renault

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Originally Posted by donald
On the other hand, if they let the Fluence flop it may have rubbished its value enough by the time my lease-purchase agreement finishes that I'd be looking for a give-away price to take it off their hands.

Ghosn might have sunk $5bn into EV development already, but it looks to me for all the world like there are insiders in Renault who want it to belly flop.

Every EV passenger car programme in the past has failed, or been allowed to fail, and there's no current reason to think Renault ZE passenger cars will follow a different path to the likes of the GM EV1. The only difference this time around is the enormity of the Gov/company investments, but that is still no guarantee of success.
The killer to me is the battery lease. It doesn't work. The idea is great in theory, but it causes so many issues and problems that it scares people away, me being one of them.

Who insures the battery? You do, but what happens if the car is a total loss and the insurers give you the market value of the car, say £8,500. You then pay Renault £5,000? £10,000? £2,000 for the battery that was damaged in your car, leaving you with not enough to buy a replacement vehicle. The Fluence is so rare that it would only take a moderate rear quarter panel smash to write it off.

Give owners the option to buy the battery - a lease to buy option. Or Renault insure the battery leaving the owner with just the shell. The Fluence is a bargain and includes 4 years servicing, but it still isn't selling. Why? Because nobody wants to get stuck with an open ended lease (open ended in as long as you have the car - assuming you're able to sell it).

Get rid of the lease idea or watch the EV dream die. Renault won't even respond but won't change, so one assumes they WANT EVs to die.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-26-2013, 05:13 AM
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RE: Twizy sells well, but EV sales disappoint Renault

Renault have sold about 25,000 Z.Es world wide. The largest buyer by far is the French govt. Many of the rest are Kangoo vans that have gone to buisness customers. Typically these sorts of deals are leases that include full maintenance and service. Theses customers probably prefer leasing the battery. Or they don't care, since they are leasing everything else.


Large fleets are either self insured or send out for competitive bids. Either way, they get the insurance they need.

Renault have perhaps done a better job with direct sales to governments and businesses than they have to private UK customers.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-26-2013, 05:31 AM
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RE: Twizy sells well, but EV sales disappoint Renault

I discussed with Direct Line, who I used to insure the car (and our other cars). The conversation was recorded, so it is 'on record' as far as that goes. It went along the lines of me asking if the battery was insured, to which the call centre chap went and asked their underwriters, who basically said as long as it is 'part of the car' and was not a user 'removable' item, then it was insured. I had also initially put the value down as 10k, but then said together with battery it was actually 19k, and again I was told it was no issue as Direct Line simply insure any cars covered to the value of 40k.

FWIW, at time of purchase, I did also call up Swinton as the dealer encouraged me to do so to get the free 7 day cover, for the cover note for the tax disc. Swinton declined, saying the car was 'uninsurable' with them. So, clearly, you have to ask around and get the deal, and as far as I am concerned the battery is covered. If there is anything further in the event of an accident, I've done everything reasonable so I'll not be shelling out vast wads of cash unless, and until, Renault are successful in Court against me, if that were ever to be how it works out. But I would very much doubt it would ever come to that.

It's disappointing that the Fluence hasn't been released in the US, because if that were so then 3rd party battery packs would appear over time to service an ownership. So I guess if I don't get a good deal at the end of my lease from Renault and I still want an EV, then I'd have to plum for a Leaf I guess. (But that rear-end just looks uuugly .... !)
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-26-2013, 06:06 AM
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RE: Twizy sells well, but EV sales disappoint Renault

Your insurance will cover the car to 'market value' at the time of the loss, though most policies will replace the car if it is written off in the first 12 months with you being the first owner. The value you give to the insurer is purely academic as most don't rate on it if it's under £30,000.

So imagine your car is flooded by a flash flood tonight. What's the market value of a Fluence? Looking at Autotrader today it's between £8,500 and £10,000. As such THAT is what you will get if your car is written off (flood, bad smash, fire etc).

Then you get Renault finance knocking on your door asking who's gonna pay for their battery. Or they then have to negotiate with your insurers to find out where the salvage car is to try and get the battery out of it. It just sounds too complicated and likely to end in tears. Your insurer say they paid you the market value and you try to convince Renault finance not to want £5,000 for their ruined battery.

Just sounds nasty.


Regarding large fleets self insuring. True in a limited number of cases in the UK (it's popular in the US though) due to legislation. It is cheaper for them to get a large Third Party Only policy and pay any damage losses themselves. Smaller fleets would have a block policy and wouldn't be too keen getting stung with a bill for a battery.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-26-2013, 08:59 AM
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RE: Twizy sells well, but EV sales disappoint Renault

Specifically what [I understood that] they said is not that they'd pay the market rate, but that they'd provide enough compensation to replace the car with a like model, and that they considered the battery to be part of the car.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-26-2013, 09:37 AM
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RE: Twizy sells well, but EV sales disappoint Renault

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Originally Posted by donald
Specifically what [I understood that] they said is not that they'd pay the market rate, but that they'd provide enough compensation to replace the car with a like model, and that they considered the battery to be part of the car.
A common misconception. You get the market value, and with most insurers that will be the trade in value in the "little black book", not the higher (and more useful) dealer price that you and I would have to pay.

I took the liberty of checking Direct Lines insurance policy and you will see on page 15/40 the following; [undefined=undefined]"We will not pay more than the market value of your car at the time of the loss (less any excess that may apply)."[/undefined]

http://www.directline.com/pdf/motor/...y-document.pdf

That means the trade in value of a Fluence which is what? £7,000? £8,000? £4,000? who knows, but it sure as heck doesn't include the battery which if the car was burnt out of flooded would need replacing too. The emphasis is on the word CAR, not battery.

You really need to check, double check and triple check with your insurers and insist on something in writing.
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