Paradoxically, it was during the years when things were looking gloomy that Renault first became interested in a car for the working classes. The deregulation of trade may throw light on this complex, or possibly confused choice at the key moment when the government decided to nationalize the Renault company and when Pierre Lefaucheux, the new Chairman of the state-controlled Renault plants, made some innovative strategic choices.  Because it chose to specialise in cars for the working classes, as of 1948 Renault became the number one car manufacturer in Europe, paving the way for the competition boosted by Italian and German economic miracles. From 1945 to 1960, Renault developed strong growth centred around the 4CV and Dauphine. The company laid down the foundations for the glory years whose success may be measured by their production volumes and ability to win new contracts drawn up by the development of the Europe of the Six.

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    Renault Fourgon 1000 kg

    In helping merchants and tradespeople resume normal business life, the 1000 kg van symbolized France’s economic recovery…
  • Renault 4 CV

    Renault 4 CV

    As the first major motoring development after the Second World War, the 4 CV was ideally matched to customer expectations…
  • Renault Colorale

    Renault Colorale

    Robustly designed, the Colorale was of much service to craftsmen, merchants and farmers in the 1950s, its numerous versions…
  • Renault Frégate

    Renault Frégate

    In the wake of the 4CV’s post-war success, Frégate gave Renault its first grand touring car. One model even came with…
  • Renault Etoile Filante

    Renault Etoile Filante

    The record-breaking Étoile Filante (“shooting star”) is a prime example of how engineers sought to carry over aircraft…
  • Renault Dauphine

    Renault Dauphine

    The 1093, released in 1962, gave ordinary motorists the chance to drive a higher-powered rally-ready version of Renault’s…