The company was founded in 1898 by Frenchman Louis Renault. The first car had an engine capacity of only 0.75 hp The next step - the model "A" - had a 1.75 hp engine and has been very successful. 1899 Renault brothers have already sold 15 cars of this model. Louis Renault was first to apply the mechanism of transmission of torque to the rear wheels via a shaft with universal joints. The principle of such gear boxes has remained unchanged for cars with rear-wheel drive up to this day.
Since 1900 the company began the production of large and powerful cars. In 1905, Renault launched a taxi with a body type "landole." The first Renault bus was presented at the Motor Show in Berlin in 1906.
The company's factories were almost completely destroyed by Allied bombing during the war and Louis Renault died in prison, accused of collaboration with the Nazis. In 1945 the company became a public company and acquired its present name. In 1946, Renault presented a mass model of 4CV, which together with the famous Citroen 2CV revived the automotive industry of France. The five hundred thousandth 4CV was made in 1954. The new plant for production of power units in the city of Cleon (Normandy) was opened in 1958. Renault 4 was manufactured in large quantity of eight million units. The first in the world hatchback appeared under the Reno brand. It was Renault 16. In 1966, Renault signed an agreement with Peugeot and Volvo to combine their technical resources. In the 70s the company has rapidly expanded - new factories were built in the north of France. After the conclusion of an agreement with American Motors Corporation In 1979, the company began its promotion to the American market. Renault 9 was produced in the United States under the name of Alliance and won the title of the Car of the Year.
Currently, Renault, being engaged in production of traditional small cars for Europe pays close attention to the production of trucks. Now Renault cars are produced in France, Spain, Belgium, Portugal, Slovenia, Turkey, China, Taiwan, Colombia, Argentina, Morocco, Malaysia and Uruguay. Following the historical ties, Renault signed a cooperation agreement with the AZLK automotive plant in Moscow. Today the “Avtoframos” factory operates in Russia producing Renault Logan.