In addition to details of a refit for its Sandouville plant in Normandy, Renault has also revealed the production start-up dates for its next Laguna and Espace models. Neither model will now be launched until 2015.

It was already known that Sandouville, which builds the Laguna, Espace and Grand Espace, would be refitted and become a light commercial vehicles plant with a capacity of 100,000 units/annum. Its first products, the next Trafic van and high roof versions of the Opel/Vauxhall Vivaro, will be launched in 2014.

In 2011 Espace production was transferred to the Laguna production line, freeing up enough space to develop an LCV production line. Renault now says that the two passenger car and LCV lines will operate side by side until 2015, when the plant in Douai will take over the production of the Laguna and Espace replacements.

The delays to the Espace/Grand Espace and Laguna replacement programmes means that the current models will be 13/12 and eight years old respectively by the time their successors are launched in 2015.

Author: Glenn Brooks