13.06.09: Inside the Renault UK boardroom

Time 12 years ago

boardroomAS anyone who’s seen The Apprentice will testify, a boardroom can be an intimidating place – but it can also say a lot about a company.

Last week I interviewed the UK managing director of Renault, Roland Bouchara, and commercial operations director, Len Curran, at the firm’s Hertfordshire HQ.

Situated alongside the marque’s alliance partner, Nissan, the offices are relatively modern, if a little difficult to get to when the M25’s at a standstill.

Unusually I was left alone for a few minutes in the boardroom while the PR boss fetched tea and the interviewees. It meant I had a good chance to have a look around – even managing to fire off this picture on my phone.

The room was dominated by the huge wooden table in the middle that had around 20 leather reclining chairs around it (very comfy). 

But what really caught my eye was the amount of adverts displayed on the walls. These weren’t just Renault models, but from a selection of other carmakers – a Kia Soul ad was quite prevalent.

It wasn’t just car adverts either – there were ones for perfume and lifestyle products too, and I even clocked one for supermarket Asda.

When Bouchara entered the room, he did so through his own separate door, direct from what I assume was his office. And during the interview he made reference to the adverts pinned to the wall.

‘You can see we’re not afraid to look at our competitors and what others are doing in terms of marketing – and not just from the automotive world either,’ he said.

Fair enough, but still I thought it was a little strange that they were on display for everyone to see, including journalists…. Maybe it’s a French thing!


Bouchara also gave me an early heads up on a new range of cars that will be launching soon. Unfortunately I can’t say any more than that as the PR chief didn’t want anything revealed early.

I did get the full details on the models though, and was in two minds whether to write anything about them – the boss did give me ‘a scoop’ as he put it, after all – but then that would be all ties severed with Renault for the sake of a few thousand page impressions. Not really worth it, is it?

So, why am I telling you this? Don’t know really – probably out of frustration at having to keep it a secret I supsect…


Look out for the full and frank interview with the Renault directors in the August issue of Car Dealer out in July. Get you copy by subscribing here.

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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