The Latitude and Laguna: can they co-exist?

It could be one last fling for the Renault Laguna – escorting stars of American cinema to the red carpet at the 36th Deauville American Film Festival.

Despite the name, the festival takes place in France and as such, uses a French car to escort the stars, which this year include Sex and The City’s Kim Cattral, High School Musical’s Zac Effron and French actress Emmanuelle Beart.

It is the 11th year running the Laguna saloon has been used for the festival, and in true keeping with celebrity’s ‘green’ tastes, the 15 models have been kitted out with a 2.0-litre Bioethanol powertrain.

On top of that, Renault has fitted its eco2 signature to the models and has confirmed it is built from 17 per cent recycled materials.

Although sales haven’t always been encouraging for Renault’s saloon in France – with many French and European customers preferring the outstanding range of smaller cars such as the Megane and Clio – the models are obviously popular as cars for the stars.

In the UK it is a different story, the Laguna has been a consistent seller and the amount of equipment coupled with good safety scores and a pinch of French flair have led it to be considered as a genuine Ford Mondeo rival.

However, Renault may look at the lack of success in its home market in France as a reason to introduce a new saloon to replace the Laguna.

Which brings us to the Renault Latitude. The saloon, which will appear in Paris as a European-orientated model, is not a replacement for the Laguna, says Renault. However, with sales of the Laguna slow in France, does the French manufacturer believe it can support two larger cars at once?

The answer, according to Renault, is yes, because the Latitude is designed to sit above the Laguna in the Renault product range.

The Latitude and Laguna will both be sold by the manufacturer with the Laguna built in France and the Latitude built in South Korea.

The manufacturer has not released information about the release date of the Latitude in the UK, although a European version is expected in 2011, which leads us to believe the Laguna will remain a popular choice in the UK at least – and of course with the cinema stars – for a little while longer.