Alliance at work: Renaults oldest plant will make chassis parts for the Flins-made Nissan Micra

Alliance at work: Renault's oldest plant will make chassis parts for the Flins-made Nissan Micra

Renault's Le Mans plant will start making chassis parts for the next generation Nissan Micra from late 2016.

This will boost factory workload by around 8% and the automaker will spend about EUR7m preparing the plant to make the parts. Output last year included 684,000 front axle assemblies, 853,000 rear axles, 7.7m rotors, 705,000 subframes and 2.56m bottom arms.

Le Mans will supply all Micra chassis parts to Renault's Flins plant near Paris which will manufacture the redesigned model from 2016 onwards with an expected output of 132,000 vehicles a year.

The decision to makes the chassis parts at Le Mans followed the competitive performance agreement of 13 March 2013, which enabled the factory to challenge successfully rival Alliance production factories. 

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", the automaker said. 

Announcing phase two of Renault's Drive the Change in February 2014, Carlos Ghosn, president of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, emphasised 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," Renault said.

The Micra itself was made for two generations at Nissan's UK plant but production of the latest model for Europe was moved to Thailand, making room for the Leaf and redesigned Note. The Micra, called March in some markets, is also made in Mexico and, more recently, Brazil.

Le Mans is now the Renault group's primary chassis design and manufacturing centre and the 2,200-person workforce makes it the top industrial employer in its region.

Chassis assemblies made there are also used for European-made Dacias and Nissan models.

The plant exports 55% of its output outside France and 25% outside Europe to Turkey, Morocco and Brazil.