The future for compact hatchbacks, and by extension, hot-hatches is looking grim. Earlier this month, we reported that the Ford Focus RS is being killed due to tightening emission regulations. Not two weeks later, a separate report has surfaced pointing to the death of the Renault Megane, including its Megane R.S. hot hatch counterpart, although this time for a different reason.
Renault design chief, Laurens van den Acker, has told Auto Express UK that the future of the Megane is in doubt, citing dwindling sales figures and increased focus on the development of electric vehicles. Van den Acker says that the company is looking at whether the development costs associated with the Megane project can be better utilised elsewhere.
“Inevitably, once we’re starting to add a range of EVs to our line-up, some of the other vehicles are going to have to go because we just can’t afford to develop all of this at the same time,” van den Acker explained. “The Megane is in a segment that’s increasingly under pressure. You have to put your money where the future of the market is.”
The Megane has been the French carmaker’s bread and butter since its introduction in 1995. However, sales of the VW Golf rival has been falling steadily in the past decade. In fact, the figure has more than halved in less than 10 years, with only 209,845 unit sold across Europe last year, compared to 465,732 examples in 2010.
Even more shockingly, the Renault Megane only sold 2,699 units last year in the UK. To put it in context, Volkswagen sold 58,994 units of the golf in the same period.
Locally, the Renault Megane is only available in the spiciest R.S. 280 flavour. Recently, TC Euro Cars also announced that the Megane R.S. is will be offered with its new Renault Subscription plans, with subscription fees starting at RM3,999 per month.
Would you, dear reader, be upset to see the Megane go? We know we definitely would – we liked the Megane R.S. so much it’s featured in our #ABC2019 AutoBuzz.my Best (Driver’s) Car of 2019.