Renault may have just unveiled the revamped Twingo, but the 2019MY version of the city car won’t be available in as many markets as the outgoing model.
When the facelifted Twingo goes on sale across Europe in the first half of this year, it won’t cross the English Channel. Renault UK has confirmed that a right-hand-drive model for the United Kingdom won’t be available.
Renault said it would drop the Twingo from its UK lineup in a bid to simplify its range.
“The decision is due to commercial reasons that align with Renault UK’s policy of having a simpler choice of versions for customers and allowing a greater commercial focus to be placed on the range of all-new models and powertrains coming in 2019 and beyond,” a company spokesman told Autocar.
That may seem like a sound explanation but the main reason for this decision is that Twingo sales never quite took off in the UK. Sales of the French city car reached the highest level in 2015, when 5,555 units were delivered. Since then, however, sales have fallen abruptly: last year, Renault sold just 877 Twingos in the country.
Obviously, sales suffer in most markets as the city car segment has been declining over the last two years. Across Europe, the Twingo sold 77,326 units last year while the segment leader, the VW up!, recorded 100,715 sales and Citroën’s C1 a measly 53,292.
Another thing that doesn’t play in city cars’ favor is the fact they’re hard to be profitable. Most likely, Renault did the math and reached the conclusion that engineering the revamped Twingo for RHD markets just isn’t worth the effort. UK buyers can still get its stepbrother, the Smart Forfour, as it is still on sale.