Cars | 23 January 2020

Jean-Dominique Senard visits
the engineering nerve centre for Groupe Renault’s utility vehicles

3 min
Jean-Dominique Senard à l'usine de Villiers-Saint-Fréderic
LCV
“The utility vehicle has an absolutely fantastic future within Groupe Renault and the Alliance,” said Jean-Dominique Senard on arriving at the Renault site in Villiers-Saint-Frédéric. On 19 December 2019, the Chairman of Groupe Renault, accompanied by Denis Le Vot, director Alliance UVD Renault-Nissan, praised the passion and know-how of the engineering teams and reminded us that this strategic activity for Groupe Renault was also the result of fruitful partnerships and valuable collaborations.
by Nicolas LE-BOUCHER

Jean-Dominique Senard à l'usine de Villiers-Saint-Fréderic

Situated in Yvelines, France, the Villiers-Saint-Frederic site houses all of the skills needed to create utility vehicles: product research and design, development and start-up of the industrial process, prototypes, computations, breadboards, tuning, trials and validations.

The group has been able to bring its tremendous capacity for innovation in the service of customer satisfaction client and Renault’s brand image to the utility vehicle market,

said Jean-Dominique Senard.

The engineering teams are tasked with developing the range and taking up the challenges related to the new expectations of business customers and to the mobility of the future. To ensure the quality of every new vehicle release, the engineering teams support the projects to the very gates of the production plants.

Whether it be acoustics, safety, ease of use, aerodynamics or thermal comfort, nothing is left to chance. Current developments concern, in particular, the electric utility vehicle range. After the Kangoo Z.E. in 2011 and the Master Z.E. in 2018, Groupe Renault is now introducing hydrogen in its utility vehicle range. We began to market the Kangoo Z.E. Hydrogen at the end of 2019, and we are preparing to release the Master Z.E. Hydrogen in 2020.

Citation Jean-Dominique Senard

The Utility Vehicle Division (UVD) employs 12,000 staff around the world and is one of the pillars of the Alliance. The teams at Villiers-Saint-Frédéric work in close collaboration with the Groupe Renault and Nissan world engineering development centres. This specially applies to the Renault Technology Americas (RTA) site based in Argentina and to the Renault Brilliance Jinbei Automotive Company (RBJAC) in China.

The collaboration with Daimler has been particularly fruitful. Daimler has brought us the benefit of its rigorous and constant approach to quality. In return, we have given them our manufacturing know-how and capacity at a competitive cost. I wish to thank all of the staff at Villiers-Saint-Frédéric for this success. I am personally convinced of the need to reinforce this partnership with its phenomenal potential,

said Jean-Dominique Senard

The success of joint developments with Daimler, Fiat, Opel and Nissan is proof of the excellence of the Villiers-Saint-Frédéric site in distinguishing and integrating the requirements of the partners. Currently, the Alliance and Daimler areis cooperating on 13 projects. This collaboration has led, in particular, to the production of the Mercedes Citan since 2012 at the Renault plant in Maubeuge, and to the advent, in 2018, of the 1.3 TCe engine, which equips the Renault Scénic and the Mercedes Class A.

Jean-Dominique Senard was well-pleased with his visit and concluded his speech with these words of encouragement:

Renault is a truly great group. Its strength resides in the passion of its staff and its technical capacities. These are considerable plus points which demand only to express themselves and must be promoted.

Renault: leader and pioneer in utility vehicles?

Renault has been successfully designing, manufacturing and marketing utility vehicles for over a century. The New Trafic, New Master and Kangoo are leaders in their category in several countries, including France. In 2019, utility vehicles accounted for 16,6% of Groupe Renault sales (+0,7% vs 2018). Renault is the European leader for light vans / vans and electric utility vehicles.
The pillars of this success and of future growth are innovation (electrification of the range), the capacity for differentiation (made-to-measure for customers and joint developments with other manufacturers) and international development. The activity of the Villiers-Saint-Frédéric site, the engineering nerve centre for utility vehicles, has a key role to play in this strategy.

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