Located on Paris’ most glittering avenue, the Champs-Élysées, L’Atelier Renault traces the history of the brand and celebrates new innovation with their gallery and showroom. A leader in the auto industry since the early 20th century, Renault remains one of the most popular vehicle brands in Europe. In this article we’ll explore the history of Renault as well as their Atelier, and prepare you for your visit!
Renault was founded in 1899 by brothers Louis, Marcel, and Fernand Renault. In essence, they were their own sort of ‘dream team’. Louis was the engineer, and had already designed working prototypes before they started the company. Whereas, Marcel and Fernand took care of the administration and promotion of the business. With all the angles covered, they set out to make their fortune. In the beginning, cars were a novelty item for the extremely wealthy. For example, one vehicle was worth 10 years of an average salary at the time. Yikes! However, with the advent of mass production it would soon become a luxury more people could afford.
Early on, Renault manufactured its own engines, and it would become one of their major international exports. In addition, they fabricated trucks, buses, taxis, aircraft engines, etc. Always ahead of the curve, the Renault brothers entered Renault cars in early automobile races. Not only that, they also drove their own vehicles. Louis and Marcel saw the importance of representing the brand on a larger scale, and were also passionate about racing. This was to set the stage for Renault’s involvement in the famous Formula 1 race, which officially began in 1950.
During World War I, the company designed and manufactured military aircraft engines as well as ammunition. Louis Renault was awarded the Legion d’Honneur (the highest honour given to a citizen by the French State) for the company’s contribution to the war effort. Shortly after the war, they diversified and started producing farming and industrial equipment.
In conclusion, while the full story of the brand, its growth and invention are too lengthy to fully cover in this article, one thing remains clear. Renault remains an innovator in the automobile industry.
In 1910, Renault bought property on the exclusive Champs-Élysées. The gallery was originally used as both a showroom and sales floor. Conveniently, it is located near the Grand Palais, the famous site of the Paris Auto Show since 1901. Renamed in 2000, L’Atelier Renault is, “dedicated to innovation, technology, and design”. The space showcases the history of the Renault brand, displays vintage cars, as well as Formula 1 one seater race cars. In addition, the venue regularly hosts temporary exhibitions as well as live performances.
If you’re feeling peckish after your visit, or just want to relax, L’Atelier Renault has all the bases covered! Le 53 restaurant is located on the main floor of the Atelier. They also have a lounge bar (open till 1:00 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays), that offers a premium selection of cocktails and spirits. In addition, L’Atelier Renault has a terrace right on the Champs-Élysées, perfect for unwinding and people watching! The restaurant offers a classic French cuisine menu with a modern twist and is reasonably priced. Both the restaurant and L’Atelier Renault are child friendly, and have children’s menu options.
Hours of Operation:
Sunday – Thursday: 10:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 10:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
For children and adults alike, you can find all things Renault in their one of a kind boutique. Whether it’s toys, models or clothing, a definite must for Formula 1 fans and car enthusiasts!
Hours of Operation:
Sunday – Thursday- 10:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Friday and Saturday- 10:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
If the history of the automobile interests you, or if you are a die-hard Renault fan and Formula 1 supporter, we highly recommend visiting L’Atelier Renault!
Address: 53 avenue des Champs Élysées, 75008, PARIS
Hours of Operation:
Sunday – Thursday: 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Friday and Saturday- 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 a.m.
Ticket price: free of charge