Renault, Stellantis focus on compact and midsize launches in 2022


PARIS — Stellantis and Renault Group will focus on launching compact and midsize vehicles in 2022, with key models that include the Renault Megane E-Tech Electric, the Alfa Romeo Tonale and the Dacia Jogger.

Others include the Chinese-built Citroen C5X, the Maserati Grecale, the Renault Austral (replacing the slow-selling Kadjar) and a widely rumored coupe/crossover based on the compact Peugeot 308, which itself was renewed at the end of 2021. 

Another potential reveal is a new Opel Insignia based on Stellantis rather than General Motors architecture, although it may not launch until 2023 or later.

One exception to the compact trend is a small Jeep, slotting below the Renegade, that would go into production in Poland in mid-year.

In recent years, the two groups focused on small cars, with new versions of mainstays such as the Renault Clio and Captur, the Dacia Sandero, the Peugeot 208 and 2008, and the Opel Corsa and Mokka. 

But now they are turning to the higher-margin compact and midsize segments. The ongoing semiconductor shortage has only added to their importance, as automakers allocate chips to more-profitable vehicles. 

Renault CEO Luca de Meo has made compact vehicles the centerpiece of his revival plan, as he seeks to shift the group’s revenue stream away from the current 70 percent that comes from small cars.

Stellantis and Renault are also sidelining a number of once-popular nameplates and models.

In addition to the Kadjar, Renault is halting production of the Talisman sedan and has pared down the Espace minivan lineup to just two trim levels. It’s also unlikely that the Scenic and Grand Scenic minivans will continue past 2022, although de Meo has suggested the nameplate could live on. None of these vehicles has a hybrid drivetrain, meaning their emissions weigh on Renault’s fleet average.

Dacia has revamped its lineup to eliminate the Dokker van (Renault will take over the group’s van activities) and Lodgy minivan, whose slot will be filled by the Jogger.  

Stellantis’ two French minicars, the Citroen C1 and Peugeot 108, will also exit, after the group handed over a joint venture factory at Kolin, Czech Republic, to Toyota. The Citroen C4 SpaceTourer minivan is also leaving the market. As with Renault’s models to be discontinued, they are also unhybridized.

Notably, after a flurry of full-electric vehicle launches in 2020-21 to meet new emissions requirements, the pace is expected to slow somewhat until 2025, the next step down in the EU’s CO2 targets.  

Here’s what we know about Renault’s and Stellantis’ 2022 plans:

Renault Megane E-Tech Electric: This key compact model is only the brand’s second dedicated full-electric passenger car, after the Zoe (the Twingo EV is a derivative of the internal combustion model). It will launch in the first quarter of the year with two power levels and two battery capacities.

Renault Austral: The compact Kadjar SUV (a sibling to the Nissan Qashqai) has failed to keep pace with rivals in one of Europe’s largest segments, so Renault is retiring the nameplate in hopes of a fresh start. The Quashqai itself was overhauled in 2021, so Renault’s timetable to launch the Austral in 2022 seems feasible. It features a new, hybridized powertrain range.

Dacia Jogger: Renault’s budget brand is set to play a bigger role in the group’s fortunes, and Dacia hopes to again catch lightning in a bottle with the Jogger, a compact-sized seven-seat crossover based on an extended version of the group’s small-car platform.

Citroen C5X: An intriguing midsize fastback sedan with SUV cues that replaces a gap in Citroen’s lineup. It was shown last spring but won’t appear until spring 2022, imported from China. For non-European markets, Citroen will launch the New C3 small crossover; another potential international debut is a four-door sedan version of the compact Citroen C4 to replace the C-Elysee. 

Alfa Romeo Tonale: A long-delayed — an official reveal is now set for March — compact SUV that will complement the midsize Stelvio in the brand’s lineup. Alfa Romeo, now led by former Peugeot boss Jean-Philippe Imparato, is in recovery mode, and a successful Tonale launch would set the tone for his leadership.

Maserati Grecale: Another model hit by a delay, attributed to the semiconductor shortage, the Grecale will slot below the Levante and compete with the BMW X3 and Porsche Macan.

Peugeot 308 coupe crossover: This unconfirmed but widely reported model could be called the 4008. The surprisingly strong-selling Renault Arkana (imported from South Korea) has shown the mainstream viability of this body style, previously seen only on premium vehicles. 

Small Jeep: This is expected to be built on the Stellantis CMP/e-CMP platform, but that architecture might need to be modified to accept four-wheel or all-wheel drive, a Jeep hallmark. It will be built at Tychy, Poland, by the second half of this year, ahead of small models from Fiat and Alfa Romeo expected in 2023. 

Other rumored reveals include the next generation Opel Insignia midsize, based on Stellantis’ EMP2 platform, and the next-generation Peugeot 3008, already announced in full-electric form and set to start production in 2023. Renault is likely to show a concept or even pre-production version of the 4ever, a small electric crossover that would pair with the buzz-generating Renault 5 that is due by 2024.

One other thing to watch for in 2022 is the Stellantis future product plan, set to be revealed on March 1, which could shed more light on models from Fiat, Jeep, Lancia and Alfa-Romeo. Fiat and Lancia were starved of investment and new models in the final years of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles group, and Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares needs to broaden their lineups to reach the economies of scale and synergies promised to Stellantis investors.    

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