Renault is a French automobile company founded in 1898. The company's headquarters are in Boulogne-Billancourt, which is situated in Western Paris. The company has a product portfolio which includes: cars, vans, trucks, tractors, tanks and buses. The most successful models are the Clio and Megane. The company currently operates in 118 countries.
Louis Renault and his two brothers, Marcel and Ferdinand founded the company in 1898 for the purpose of the motor racing industry. The first Renault built model was the Voiturette 1CV. The company achieved recognition through its success in the motor racing industry, in which all three brothers participated in. Marcel lost his life participated in a racing competition.
The company halted domestic production during the First World War and contributed to the allied war effort, which earned Louis a Legion of Honour award. During the Nazi occupation of France during the Second World War, Louis refused to build tanks for the Nazi war effort, which took control over all of the companies factories. The company was instead forced to build lorries for the Nazi movement. As a result, the factories were key targets for the British and American forces, resulting in full destruction of all factories.
When France was liberated, Louis was arrested by the French government and was accused of collaborating with the Nazi forces. The state also took full control over the company. Louis died in prison, awaiting trail. The exact reason for his death has never been known, although Louis's family is still to this day searching for the truth.
The government would control Renault up until 1996. The company partnered with Nissan in 1999 which allowed the company to expand its presence throughout all four corners of the world. The Renault-Nissan alliance is now the fourth largest automotive group. The Renault alliance has taken the lead in developing electric cars in which they are expected to invest up to four billion in the upcoming decade.