Renault chairman and chief executive officer Louis Schweitzer said: 'These are the people who will help us register an impact in the upper segment. They like innovation and are growing tired of the traditional styling of the cars they usually buy. I think they will see our new model as refreshing. It is a breakthrough and we believe customers will appreciate the fact that we are confronting the major players in the segment from a different angle.'
Launching the car in Geneva he added: 'We are convinced this is a package that will appeal to the business motorist. I was one once and I like it - it's certainly a different kind of luxury car.' Schweitzer admitted that the V6 petrol and diesel-powered model was being introduced to the public 12 months before it goes on sale as part of a charm offensive.
He explained: 'Our own people have told us that the unique shape of the Vel Satis becomes more attractive the more they see it, so we think it is important for people to become familiar with this car well in advance of availability. This is a dynamic style that needs to be seen a few times to be fully appreciated. What we're talking about here is focusing on conceptive design.'
The company's FF3.6 billion gamble to win credibility as a volume producer of 'high end' cars will be produced at Sandouville alongside the new Laguna range. To be built at the rate of 200 per day, it is expected to have a six or seven-year model life.