Renault has removed the non-Renault Sport Megane from its Australian range, as it looks to move the model upmarket and put the RS brand in the spotlight.
Although some mainstream hatch, wagon and sedan stock remains in dealerships, the model has been removed from the Renault Australia website, leaving only the GT, GT-Line and RS hatch the brand considers 'Renault Sport Megane' models.
UPDATE: An earlier version of this story had 'Non-RS' in its headline. We've corrected it to 'Non-Renault Sport' to reflect the fact Renault includes the GT and GT-Line as part of the Renault Sport umbrella, and clarified the copy.
A company spokesperson confirmed the decision, telling CarAdvice the move is designed to simplify the Renault range, and will allow it to position the Megane as premium, performance-oriented model, and Renault Sport itself as a halo brand.
Renault Australia's managing director told CarAdvice "the time was right to make the RS brand more desirable" by "focusing on the models that epitomise Renault’s passion for challenge and performance".
Originally launched locally in 2004, the current Megane is the fourth iteration to be sold in Australia. The car's most successful year was 2015, with hatch and convertible deliveries totalling 1550.
With that said, it almost tripled Peugeot 308 sales last year, with 937 deliveries across the Megane hatch, sedan and wagon ranges. Only 15 'mainstream' models have been sold so far in 2019, compared to 155 across the Sport Megane line-up.
It isn't exactly common, but the idea of only offering the performance version of a mainstream model isn't unheard of. Ford will only offer the Fiesta in ST guise locally, amid declining sales in the light hatch market.
Volkswagen used to offer the Scirocco R as a standalone model, while Holden offered the previous-generation Insignia VXR with no mainstream range below it in 2015 and 2016, before the current model was revealed (and became our Commodore).