|This Nissan was part of the assembly arrangement with Renault|
Did you know that Renault produced cars in Mexico during this 2001-09 period? I would think not many did. How did it come about and was it successful?
Renault wanted to enter the Mexican market and used its alliance partner Nissan to help it do so. Two models were planned to be built in a Nissan plant to supply only the local market. The compact MPV model known as the Scénic kicked things off, quickly followed by the Clio small hatch. Nissan then introduced the booted Clio (US trunk) called the Symbol (or Thalia) to the assembly plant but it was sold under its brand as the Platina model. I presume it was cost effective to have two related cars on the assembly line.
The goal: Renault hoped to produce 6,000 Scénic models per annum and be selling 30,000 vehicles in total by 2003. 80,000 units was a longer term goal for the brand, or 8% market share.
Reality: Like all goals, there is no guarantee and this didn't materialise. The Scénic was soon withdrawn and a peak of just 2.2% market share was achieved by Renault in 2004. Things then slipped back to 1.5% by the time the Clio was no longer assembled in Mexico. 24,000 sales was as good as it got during this period. Understandably, the Nissan Platina did much better, with that brand's much larger presence.
Life after assembly: Interestingly, sales improved from 2010, with nearly 30,000 sold by 2016. That despite new brands entering the market, increasing competition. So Renault did get the leap into the market it wanted, although not with quite the splash it hoped for, currently holding around the 2% of total sales.