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The French brand Renault was founded by the three brothers Louis, Fernand and Marcel Renault in 1899, who had already caused a sensation on the streets of Paris with a self-made wooden caravan. After the death of his brothers, Louis Renault was the sole leader of the company until his death in 1944.
Renault was able to make car history early on - many of the inventions such as the propeller shaft, the screw-in spark plug or the turbocharger and nothing less than the seat belt go back to the young entrepreneur and technician.
Soon the company was able to expand and became even more known thanks to the purchase of its cars by a Parisian taxi company in 1906.
Renault's commitment to the national interests of France during the First World War gave Mr. Renault not only a rank as an officer in the honorary legion, but possibly also encouraged the company to even develop further in the times of the world economic crisis.
In the 1930s the most modern plant of Europe with the longest production line was opened on the island Séguin. During the time of German occupation in France, the production sites were repurposed for war.
Shortly after his arrest, before the end of the Second World War, the company founder died.
Renault was the only company in France to be nationalised after 1945. Soon after that the 2CV, the first automobile that was secretly created during the war, rolled of the belt, thus making Renault the largest manufacturer of the country until the end of the 1940s.
In 1949, Renault was the first "foreign representative" to open a branch in Baden-Baden and was for a long time the largest importer of Germany. Since the successful conquest of the German market, Renault has been present in many European countries such as Spain and started the production of trucks and tractors in the course of several fusions.
More and more cars from Renault were present on the streets - the sales doubled in the 1970s again from one to two million in total. The successor's guarantee was the Renault 5.
With the models Renault 4, 16 and 12, the automobile manufacturer was able to seal its worldwide presence.
After the long period of successes and records Renault got into a crisis in the middle of the 1980s and had to pay billions in debt. In the long term, this crisis could only be overcome with losses. On the one hand, the company implemented the strategy of job cutting, dismantling and resale of participations, on the other hand Renault developed new models such as the Fuego, the Renault 25 and the Espace, which were presented to the public carefully.
Finally the Renault 19 from 1988 functioned as a “rescuer”, as it marked the new upturn. The mid-class car made it even to be the most sold imported car in Germany between 1990 and 1994 - with sales of 100,000 pieces in 1991 and 1992 - a previously unbroken record. With the small car, the R5 successor, for the first time released in 1972, the nearly equally popular Renault Clio of 1990 could secure the success in Germany again. The Twingo as well as Renault's strong initiative to the development of vehicles such as the Twizy, Zoe, Influcence and Kangoo with electric drive, and thus Renault’s engagement in a still new market, belongs to the series of technically and visually optimized small cars.
In the compact class, the Mégane is very popular, together with the Laguna. Renault also produces SUVs - its origin is the first luxury van called Espace from 1984, which was replaced by the Scénic in 1996. With the Captur, Xmod and Captur models, this class is taking on new and attractive shapes at Renault.
Renault's participation in sporting competition has also been very successful. Renault has been involved in Formula One since 1977. Two world championship titles of the factory team were achieved and through the provision of specific engines Renault also has been able to realize its potential with victories from Sebastian Vettel. Since 2016, the French brand has started its own team.