The history of Renault began in 1899, when the brothers Louis, Marcel and Fernand Renault opened the company Renault Frères - brothers Renault. In the beginning, they simply assembled cars from ready-made components, but then they began to introduce their own developments. Louis Renault was a capable, ambitious engineer who designed and built several prototype cars and received over 700 patents. Marcel and Fernand Renault managed the business. By 1901, Renault had become the world's largest automobile manufacturer. Also, Louis and Marcel were successful racers, and this helped the development of the company. However, in 1903, Marsel died in the Paris-Madrid race and Renault stopped participating in the competition for several years. And in 1908, Fernand Renault retired for health reasons and the management of the company passed to Louis Renault.
In 1898, Renault produced its first car, the Voiturette 1CV, which means small car in French. Renault Voiturette was produced in several series Type A, Type B, Type C ... with different engines until 1903. And in 1905, Renault received an order for 250 Renault AG1 taxi cars in Paris. Renault AG1 became a successful model of Renault, began to be exported and was widely used in many cities around the world. Later, these vehicles were used by the military during the First World War, for which they received the nickname - Taxi de la Marne - Taxi of the Marne.
With the outbreak of the First World War, Renault began the production of equipment needed for the army. Renault factories produced aircraft engines, medical service vehicles, buses, tanks, and so on. In 1917, Renault launched the production of one of the best tanks of the First World War FT17, which was used until the Second World War. For services to France during World War I, Louis Renault was awarded the Legion of Honor.
By 1920, Renault was producing cars, trucks, agricultural machinery, industrial and marine machinery, ... and so on. For example, in 1919, Renault began producing Type GP tractors based on the FT tank, which was produced until 1930. In 1927, at the Paris Motor Show, Renault introduced new car models that were presented in two model ranges: economical models - Quatre and luxury Stella, such as Renault 6CV, 10CV, Monasix, 15CV, Vivasix, Vivastella, Reinstella, ... . Also, great attention was paid to the export of Renault cars to the UK and the USA. In 1931, Renault introduced its first diesel engines for commercial vehicles.
Following the defeat of France in 1940 by Nazi Germany, an armistice was negotiated in June 1940, similar to a surrender. Part of France was occupied, another part was ruled by the Vichy regime. And in order to save his factories from destruction, Louis Renault began to cooperate with the occupation administration of Germany. Managers, Schippert and von Urach, from the German company Daimler-Benz AG were appointed. In the beginning, trucks and tanks were repaired at the Renault factories, and later the production of cars, trucks and tanks for the Wehrmacht was established. In 1942 and 1943, the Renault factories were bombed by British aircraft, after which production was virtually stopped.
After the liberation of Paris in August 1944, Louis Renault surrendered himself to the police, after which he was arrested and accused of collaborating with Nazi Germany and imprisoned in Fresnes prison, where he was subjected to ill-treatment. And on October 24, 1944, Louis Renault died in a Paris hospital. Whether this was the result of uremia or the consequences of ill-treatment during his imprisonment in Fresnes Prison could not be determined. On January 16, 1945, the factories and the Renault company were nationalized by the provisional government of France, and Pierre Lefocheux was appointed general director and named the company after nationalization - Régie Nationale des Usines Renault - National Directorate of Renault factories.
Renault's first car after World War II was the Renault 4CV, which was officially introduced in 1946. The demand for Renault 4CV is so great that in 1947 the delivery time was more than a year and was produced until 1961. In 1951, the top model Renault Frégate was released, which was produced until 1960. 1956 saw the introduction of the Renault Dauphine, which was the best selling model in France from 1957 to 1961. At the same time, Renault becomes the largest car manufacturer in France.
The first Renault logo was introduced in 1900 and was the initials of the Renault brothers, intertwined in two letters R. In 1906, a logo appeared with the image of a Renault car inscribed in a gear that won the first French Grand Prix. In 1919, at the end of World War I, Renault placed the Renault FT tank on the emblem. In 1923, the radiator grille, placed inside a white circle, with the inscription Renault, becomes the Renault logo. In 1925, the grille of the logo is transformed into a rhombus representing a diamond, which marked the beginning of the modern Renault logo. In 1946, after the nationalization of Renault, the colors of the logo changed, yellow was added. In addition, along with the name of Renault, the inscription Regie Nationale appears. 1959 - The Renault logo becomes black and white again and the letters become more elongated. 1972 - the background is painted yellow. The Renault inscription is shifted under the diamond. 1992 - only a stylized rhombus remains, the inscription also disappears and the background becomes white. 2004 - the appearance of the rhombus changes, stripes disappear from it. The bottom two parts of the figure are painted over in black with Renault lettering at the bottom. 2007 - a rhombus with a silvery texture on a yellow background. 2015 - only the image of the diamond remains. The inscription has disappeared, the background is painted white again.
Renault is today the world's largest car manufacturer and makes vehicles under the Renault, Samsung and Dacia brands. Renault is also the owner of the Korean company Renault Korea Motors, Romanian Dacia. Renault also owns shares in the Japanese company Nissan Motors - 43%, Russian AvtoVaz - more than 50%, Daimler - 3.1% and Swedish AB Volvo - 20.5%. The alliance between Renault and Nissan in 2009 ranked fourth in the world in terms of car production. Since 2001, the Renault Trucks division has been sold to the Volvo concern, retaining the Renault brand. The Renault Group has factories in France, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Slovenia, Romania, India, China, Republic of Korea, Algeria, Morocco, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Colombia