Renault Kangoo Jamboree
The coolest car in the world
Rain. After months of planning, 14 hours of flying and 3 hours of driving, the Autozine editor arrived in the pouring rain at the huge venue where the "Renault Kangoo Jamboree 2023" will take place. From the early hours, participants arrive and the bad weather does not seem to spoil the fun. There are even broad smiles on the faces!
The rain is not a problem, but a great opportunity to take advantage of the Kangoo's versatility! Out of the cars come tents, canopies, food, drinks and everything needed to make it a fun day. And as the editor sits down under a cosy canopy, the story telling starts. Many drive a Toyota, Mazda or other Japanese car during the week. The Renault Kangoo is the pet car for special occasions.
European, basic ad cute
Everything European is, by definition, exclusive in Japan. Besides: Japan really only has two types of family cars. These are the inexpensive and simple kei-cars or expensive and extremely luxurious seven-seaters. Something in between does not exist and the Kangoo fills that gap.
But design is the most important factor. Cute is rated much higher than tough in Japan, which is why the Kangoo is well liked. In fact, the first two generations are the most popular for that reason. Especially for the Japanese market, the Kangoo also comes in trendy colours.
For those who want to go further than that, there is a lively accessories trade. Fully in line with the Kangoo's character, however, these are not chip tuning, shiny rims, big exhaust pipes or other "vulgar" items. A Kangoo gets French flags, retro accents and lots of features to make even better use of the cabin space.
At least, that's the trend. Of course, with over 2,000 cars spread over many car parks and (boggy) fields, there are always participants who think very differently! For example, a father and son gave their Kangoo an American character with solid rims, lowered suspension, a closed grille and a bright yellow "Malibu Surf" interior.
Two girl friends have dressed up their yellow Kangoo in retro style and fitted it with custom-made racks for their dogs. The side of the car reads large "Vis Tes Passions", or enjoy (French) life!
At an event, of course, comes the supply of food, drinks and whatnot. And during the Jamboree, a clear rule applies: only trade from a Kangoo! All kinds of household goods, home-made jewellery and, of course, car accessories are being sold from the boot at the midway area.
The professionals go one step further, as there is a macaron trade (French biscuits) using a stickered Kangoo as a driving billboard. A bakery has even converted the Kangoo into a mobile kitchen and sells sandwiches from the car. The owner explains that the Kangoo may not offer the most spacious kitchen, but that the Renault stands out next to other "food trucks" and thus increases sales!"
"Over alls" is an an artist who paints buildings on commission. For years, he has been using a Kangoo as a company car and on this occasion he is producing a canvas commissioned by Renault Japan. When asked, the graffiti artist secretly says he hopes his work will eventually end up in Renault France's headquarters...
The Kangoo Jamboree 2023 is also the scene of a real first. Indeed, in Japan, Renault is showing the Kangoo with extended wheelbase in the passenger car version (the long-wheelbase commercial vehicle has been around for some time). The director of Renault commercial vehicles has even flown in specially from France to unveil the extra spacious variant.
And he manages to explain the Kangoo's success story in Japan from a very different perspective. In fact, the Kangoo was imported in parallel even before its official launch in Japan. Renault thus saw demand and responded to it by adapting the Kangoo to the needs of the market. For instance, the Kangoo in Japan does not have an upward-hinged tailgate, but side-hinged rear doors like the commercial vehicle. Because of the limited space around the car in Japanese garages, this is a strong selling point.
That Nissan offers almost the same car under its own name the Japanese would rather not know, but the fact that therefore plenty of parts are available is actually appreciated.
To increase exclusivity, special editions are regularly offered. Even when limited edition purple and pink Kangoos were offered, the special editions sold out within half an hour! It will therefore come as no surprise that the Kangoo is Renault's best-selling model in Japan.
Why is the Renault Kangoo Japan's coolest car? A combination of emotion, reason and good marketing. In Japan, family cars are either cheap and small or expensive and big. Economical yet spacious was not offered until the Kangoo. Moreover, Renault cleverly adapted the Kangoo to the Japanese market.
What makes the Kangoo popular are its European origins, down-to-earth character and endearing design. A sports car or convertible follows the standard rules of desirability, but the Kangoo, with its unique combination of simplicity and French flair, is far more exclusive. Therefore, in the eyes of a people who live strictly by the same rules, the Renault Kangoo is the coolest car in the world.