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Renault

Renault is a French automaker founded at the very end of the 19th century (in 1898) by three brothers: Louis, Marcel and Fernand. The company steadily grew and gained a reputation as an innovative automaker, building everything from small city cars to trucks, tractors and even farming equipment at one point. Nowadays it only makes passenger cars (since it sold its Renault Trucks division to Volvo in 2001 and its agricultural vehicles division to CLAAS in 2008), yet it owns Korea's Renault Samsung Motors, has a majority stake in Romanian automaker Dacia, a controlling stake of Nissan (43.4 percent) and a 1.55 percent stake in Daimler AG. It has over a dozen manufacturing facilities in France and twice as many scattered around the world. Over the past two decades, Renault, whose logo is a diamond (or rhombus), has made a name for itself by making cars that are not only safe, but also striking to look at and well-engineered, if a bit cheap feeling in places. Now, the manufacturer is changing its image yet again, as it has presented increasingly sober and Germanic designs that are far more subdued than what it was doing previously - perceived quality in its very latest offerings is very good, and it is definitely higher ranked in this respect compared to the style-over-substance days of the Vel Satis and Avantime (the mid-2000s).

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