FRANCE: Renault may move Trafic production to Sandouville
One van, several brands - Renault Trafic is also available as the Opel/Vauxhall Vivaro and Nissan Primastar
Renault will produce the new version of its Trafic van at its Sandouville factory in France, a media report said, citing a French industry ministry spokesman.
The Reuters news agency said a decision would soon be announced after calls from politicians for the company to protect local jobs. The Trafic is currently built in Luton, England, in a joint venture with Opel/Vauxhall and by alliance partner Nissan in Barcelona, Spain.
Renault, however, said it was too early to reveal which model would be built at its Sandouville factory in the Haute-Normandie region of northern France although it has previously said that it would build a commercial vehicle there.
A spokeswoman told Reuters that it was too early to confirm the name of the vehicle although she added it is due to appear in 2013.
Vauxhall said on 21 May that talks were continuing between its Luton plant and Renault "in a positive vein" on the opportunity for joint development and production of the next generation Vivaro van, the UK's version of the Trafic. The current Vauxhall/Renault joint venture Vivaro’s lifecycle runs out in 2013.
Vauxhall has said it was optimistic that talks about a new generation Vivaro would be successful.
The French daily Le Figaro earlier cited industry ministry sources as well as a CGT union source saying the new version of the van would be made in Sandouville, where Renault currently builds the Espace.
The paper added that Renault was trying to convince partners Nissan and Vauxhall Opel to move production of their Vivaro and Primastar vans, which are produced at the same sites, to Sandouville as well.
Renault has come under pressure from French politicians to retain production in France despite recent moves to set up assembly in low cost regions. The French state owns 15% of Renault.