The Renault Clio has been an uninterrupted hit since its launch in 1990 – and 16 million of them have been sold worldwide so far! It is, quite simply, the best-selling French car of all time. As the restyled Clio V is about to debut, we look back at the Clio saga with an assortment of figures, photos and testimonials. Because everyone has a memory involving a Clio!
The Clio success story
Besides rising to prominence in Renault’s line-up, the Clio is the best-selling French car ever. Since the first generation reached dealerships in 1990, almost 16 million Clio cars have been sold in a no fewer than 120 countries!
16 million is a lot of cars! Bumper to bumper, 16 million Clio would circle the earth 1.6 times. No less! And, if you stacked them one on top of the other, they would rise 75,000 times higher than the Eiffel Tower! Feeling dizzy yet?
Why has it been such a hit? Because, when it reached the market to take over from the Renault 5, it revolutionised the multipurpose city car segment. And it came with new and improved features across the board (the chassis, equipment, overall quality, etc.) and then fanned out into a wide variety of versions, so everyone could find the Clio that was right for them at a price they could afford. “It’s not expensive enough, son”, an advert once said.
Every generation has taken the Clio’s DNA to new heights and built on the previous generation’s strengths. As a result, 30 years down the road, it is still one of the most emblematic cars in its segment, in every market it is in. And it hasn’t been voted Car of the Year in Europe once – but twice!
Still now, more than 1,400 Clio are made every day at the plants in Bursa (Turkey) and Novo Mesto (Slovenia). In Bursa, a Clio rolls off production lines every minute!