Renault is seeking to put its conversion products back on fleets’ radar in 2019 as supply constraints on its platform cab chassis ease.

Speaking just before Christmas, Renault fleet boss Mark Dickens described the issue as Renault’s “Achilles Heel” during 2018.

He told Company Van Today: “The big issue has been our availability of the platform cab, to allow us to build those conversions. We’ve been fighting for more and more production from Europe, because the converted product throughout Europe has been in huge demand.

“We’ve lost orders this year, some of my colleagues have picked up some of our orders where we’ve just not been able to build, and that hurts. Next year we’ll be back on full stream so we’re really confident about next year on converted products. There’s a bit of a theme running; if they could build it, we would sell it.

“Renault vans have great heritage, great brand value and our conversions – tailor-made offerings for conversions – is one of our USPs,” he continued. “If you want it we build it, we’re not confined to low-loaders and tippers; basically, you name it, we build it and we have an accredited network, that will build anything.”

Renault is also focused on supply of its new electric Master large van for 2019.

“We have got a lot of work to do to satisfy demand on that,” said Dickens. “I can see this being another demand outstrips supply point, based on signed letters of intent to order we’ve already got.”

Despite the Master ZE joining the Kangoo ZE model that has been offered for a number of years, Dickens said there is still a future for diesel.

“It’s an interesting dynamic in the market at the moment with electric, hybrid, diesel – diesel I find infuriating from a message perspective because it still has a place in fleet but it seems to get a bashing all the time,” he said. “If you’re a long-distance driver then diesel is definitely the solution, yet people believe what they hear and see. It’s just wrong, it’s the wrong choice for them to be forced into petrol or something else.”