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Renault appoints commercial-specialist dealers

Renault Australia aims to open eight dedicated Pro+ van dealerships by the end of the year.

Renault has opened three dedicated van dealerships as it puts more focus on the commercial side of its Australian business.

The company recognises that passenger car dealerships can have different priorities when it comes to working with customers buying a work van.

"We understand that van customers have very different needs to passenger car customers," says Renault spokeswoman Emily Fadeyev.

The van-focused Renault Pro+ outlets are attached to existing Renault dealerships but the spaces are separate.

"The Pro+ dealerships have different hours for service and for sales than regular Renault dealerships, reflecting the customer needs," Fadeyev says.

Renault Australia aims to have eight Pro+ dealerships up and running by the end of the year

The dealerships feature the Renault range of vans, with examples of fitout options such as racks and bulkheads. Previously, customers could see these items only in a brochure or online gallery. The van space also allows customers to get a good look at the haulers. In regular dealerships, the vans are sometimes squeezed into corners out of the way of star attraction passenger models.

The first three Pro+ dealerships are at Brighton Renault in Victoria, Main North Renault in Adelaide and Sunshine Renault on the Gold Coast.

Renault Australia aims to have eight Pro+ dealerships up and running by the end of the year, doubling that by the end of 2016.

Commercial vehicles are important to Renault Australia and Vfacts figures show vans accounted for more than one third of the brand's sales tally in 2014.

In that year, the Trafic van was Renault Australia's third bestseller, with 1643 sales, trailing the Koleos SUV with 1709 and Clio with 2611.

Renault expects to see a boost in its commercial sales this year thanks to a recently arrived face-lifted Master van and a new Trafic, which has just arrived.