The motor vehicle would be instrumental in accelerating Europe’s resurrection in the wake of the First World War. Carmakers would have to adapt their models to address a much broader market, making them easier to drive, less expensive to buy and more robust. This would mean wide-scale changeover to mass production practices, a process that would take several years to complete at Renault’s Billancourt plant.
As if this monumental challenge were not enough, Louis Renault would also have to face up to a new rival: Citroën.
Renault’s initial response to changing market conditions came in 1919 with the 10 CV. This new entry-level model was mechanically straightforward, for easy maintenance, and designed to meet the broadest possible spectrum of motoring needs, in trade and tourism. It would enjoy a long and steady career, metamorphosing into the GS, then the IG, then the Type II in 1921. This longer variant featured an original transmission system, with a single rigid unit encompassing gearbox, transmission and drive axle.
Two years later, the Type II would give way to the famous KZ, and Renault would introduce a new entry-level car, the 6 CV KJ, as the next step in the unstoppable process of bringing motoring to the masses.