Wards Auto has a news item with the headline ‘Renault Suspends Zoe EV Launch to Clear Way for Clio’. It quotes Carlos Tavares, Renault COO, as saying that Renault is postponing the full launch of its Zoe electric vehicle until next year. The delay is linked to the eurozone economic crisis, which has resulted in Renault having too many new products arriving at the same time. The implication is that Zoe is being delayed so as not to overshadow the release of the Clio, with Tavares saying:
“I will turn over the keys to the first Zoe by the end of the year”
“If one launch follows another too closely we lose the power of the launch for marketing and commercialization.”
The delay has apparently been confirmed by French customers on the Zoe ZE Forum, with delivery dates as late as May being suggested.
Personally I don’t believe that the Clio launch is the primary reason for the delay – after all the Zoe was launched in March and the Clio was launched in September so, all other things being equal, there was no need to artificially separate delivery dates – or else, logically, it would be the Clio deliveries that should be delayed. I would guess, therefore, that there is a technical issue with the Zoe EV that has caused the delay (further problems with the R-Link perhaps) whereas the conventional Clio is a more straightforward launch.