▪ In late 2016, the Le Mans plant is to start making chassis components for the next-generation Nissan Micra. This program will bring an increase of around 8% in the plant workload, and draw an investment budget totalling €7 million.
▪ The Le Mans plant will meet all the Nissan Micra chassis needs for the Renault Flins plant (near Paris), which will manufacture the new Micra from 2016 onwards, with an expected output of 132,000 vehicles per year. Thus Renault will be building the whole chassis for Micra in France, and assembling the car in France as well.
▪ Nissan's decision to have the new Micra chassis made at Renault's Le Mans plant follows the competitive performance agreement of 13 March 2013, which enabled the Renault Le Mans plant to successfully challenge rival production facilities as regards fulfilment of Nissan's performance demands.
A year and a half after Renault and the trade unions signed the competitive performance agreement, Renault is forging ahead and meeting its commitments, including that of “maintaining or developing business at its French manufacturing sites”.
Production of chassis components for the new Micra will boost the workload by around 8% (full-year) for Renault's Le Mans plant. Volume production is scheduled to start in late 2016, with production output, estimated at 132,000 vehicles (full-year) going to the Renault Flins assembly plant.
The program draws site investment of €7 million, on new machinery that goes a long way to securing sustained plant business in the future.
In announcing phase two of Renault's Drive the Change in February 2014, Carlos Ghosn, president of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, emphasized the need to improve the performance of both partner companies, and one of the ways this was to be achieved was by developing cross-manufacturing, with one partner making vehicles or powertrains for the other. Just months after the announcement, Alliance synergies are stepping up; the Micra chassis programme for Le Mans marks a major step forward in Alliance cross-manufacturing.
The Renault Le Mans plant:
▪ Chassis component design and manufacturing centre
The ACI Le Mans plant dates back to 1920, and has the longest history of any of the Renault group's production facilities today. Le Mans is the Renault group's primary chassis design and manufacturing centre, hosting unparalleled engineering and production know-how in this speciality. This plant is also the number-one industrial employer in its region.
▪ Key automotive subsystems
As well as being used on Renault-badged vehicles, the chassis assemblies made at the Le Mans plant also appear on European-made Dacias and Nissans. The plant's 2,200-strong workforce endeavours not only to meet the most demanding requirements on quality, delivery times, cost and safety, but to actually toughen them up. The Le Mans centre is currently involved in practically all of the Renault group's forthcoming product projects, and makes chassis components for Clio 4, Captur and New Trafic, plus Lodgy, Sandero and Duster for Dacia, and Qashqai and Note for Nissan. It makes all the chassis parts for ZOE (rear axle, rotating front-end, subframe, bottom arm), plus the battery support and engine cradle.
▪ International customers
The parts made at Le Mans are dispatched to Renault group assembly plants not only in France and other European countries, but also farther afield, to Turkey, Morocco and Brazil. The Le Mans plant exports 55% of its production output outside France and 25% outside Europe.
▪ 2013 production
Front axle assemblies: 684,000
Rear axle assemblies: 853,000
Rotors: 7,700 000
Bottom arms: 2,561,000
2013 workload up 6% on 2012