Renault Group’s Sandouville plant will build a claimed “revolutionary generation of electric LCVs” for the new Renault-Volvo joint venture company Flexis from 2026.

The automaker will hire 550 new workers for the Normandy site over the next four years.

Investment of EUR300m is planned between now and 2026 to build the new generation vehicles.

Renault opened the Sandouville body and assembly plant in 1964 and it built most (17) of the brand’s top end models for 50 years. Since 2014, it has specialised in light commercial vehicles. In 2023, the factory assembled 131,427 vehicles, adding the electric Trafic van to its line.

“The assignment of this new project recognises the expertise and commitment of women and men at the plant. A new era is beginning at Sandouville,” said Renault group chief industry and quality officer Thierry Charvet.

Other group LCV plants in France are Maubeuge (Kangoo) and Batilly (Master). Sandouville has built 1,000,000 Trafic vehicles for Renault (including rebadging for JV partners) in a full range of versions, from cab.chassis to the SpaceClass MPV.

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The 550 new permanent and fixed term hires over the next four years will supplement the 1,000 people already recruited between 2014 and 2023 – current headcount is 1,850.

The plant has a digital ecosystem, Sandouville Plant Connect, which makes maximum use of operational data, updated in real time, to optimise the value chain from supplier management, to production through to customer delivery.

To meet Renault’s 2030 net zero target, initiatives include a new, modernised paint process which will cut resource and energy use by 30%. The plant already has 40 hectares of photovoltaic (solar) panels.

Last 22 March, the Renault and Volvo groups obtained regulatory approval to officially launch Flexis.

CMA CGM Group will invest up to EUR120million in the JV through Pulse, its energy investment fund.