Renault will invest €300 million to boost diesel-engine production at its Valladolid, Spain plant if demand outstrips current expectations, a company spokesman has confirmed to just-auto.

He said the plant makes 750,000 1.5-litre diesel engines but that Renault might install a third assembly line next year if necessary.

"If demand surprises us we will have to do this," the spokesman said.
The Valladolid plant North of Madrid makes Renault's new Modus car for worldwide distribution. In 2005, the Spanish unit of the French automobile group hopes to sell 300,000 units of the Modus globally and 20,000 in Spain, which has a strong appetite for diesel-powered cars.

Renault expects to market 57% of those 20,000 cars in diesel versions and 43% in petrol, the spokesman said.

The company is forecasting that European sales of the more environmentally-friendly diesel models will increase in coming years.
The Valladolid plant's total motor output is seen rising to 1.2 million units in 2005, up from 1 million this year.

Ivan Castano