Renault, based in Boulogne-Billancourt, is one of the pioneers of the French automotive industry (together with Peugeot). It is one of the leading manufacturers in the sector across Europe, and 11, according to the OICA 2006 study ranks worldwide. Its slogan is Cr?ateur d'automobiles, i.e. 'creator cars'.
Renault has an active participation of 44.4% in Nissan, while Nissan owns 15% of the shares of Renault in turn. Both companies maintain a strong alliance, while fully retaining its autonomy. In addition Renault owns Samsung Motors and Dacia.
It was founded in 1898 by Louis Renault, together with his brothers Marcel and Fernand, as well as Francois Pefaure; under the name of Renault Fr?res. After the death of Marcel Renault in 1903, and Fernand Renault in 1907, the society remained in the hands of Louis Renault and changed its name to "Soci?t? des Automobiles Renault".
The first cars that were manufactured were aimed at affluent people, with an approximate cost of 3,000 francs. Considering that such limited market, they began to manufacture trucks and taxis. When world war I broke out in 1914, Renault began to produce ammunition, military aircraft and tanks. After the war diversified activities, dabbling with agricultural machinery and aircraft engines. The first network of distributors was formed in 1920.
During the second world war, the factories of the company supported the nazi army, so Louis Renault was subsequently imprisoned (in 1944), and was behind bars, possibly murdered. The factories were confiscated by the provisional Government; nationalised with the name of R?gie Nationale des Usines Renault (Renault factories national network).
In 1986 the French Government raised its privatization, and a decade later (July 1996) was completely unrelated State administration. Between 1979 and 1987, Renault was owner of most of American Motors Corporation (AMC), which would be later sold to Chrysler.
In the 2000s emerged some difficulties for Renault, due to reasons such as the saturation of the automotive market in Europe and ageing range of Renault models. Although in 2005 came the Clio III - with undeniable success, three cars created for a wide range were a resounding commercial flop: the Avantime (luxury minivan), the Vel Satis (premium sedan) and the Modus (micro MPV of city).
Sales of the mark continued to fall an average of 8% per year, and lose the market share at a worrying pace. Recently in 2009 the sales quota left lower, showing positive signs (with the Megane as main architect range).
Currently, studies open a manufacturing plant in Israel. In the present, Renault has plans to develop a supercar, whose development could crystallize in the year 2011.