From Valladolid, to Palencia, passing through Seville. Renault has already started production of the Austral, the first car in the renovation plan and the most made in Spain to date, as the French brand explains to this newspaper, through the different stages that are responsible not only for assembling the different pieces of the puzzle in a 100% “made in Spain”but also to provide added value with which Spain manages to distinguish itself from the group’s other car factories in the rest of the world thanks to its strong competitiveness.
OKEVERY DAY visited the Renault plant in Villamuriel de Cerrato (Palencia), inaugurated in 1978 with the capacity to produce a car in less than a minute thanks to the high levels of automation it has. From the Castilian-Leonese factory they have already left almost 7 million vehiclesmost of which have been Renault Megane, with a production of nearly 5 million to date. Now it’s Austral’s turn.
For the production of the Austral, the diamond signature federates all the forces of the Spanish factories from the factory of Bodyworks from Palencia to Motores de Valladolid -which is developing the first hybrid mechanics in Spain-, passing through the Refactory of Seville -which will produce hybrid gearboxes for the whole world- or the R+D+i Center, also in the town of Pisuerga, being responsible for the design of the first model of the Renaulution plan. Renault’s commitment to Spain with this model is such that it will begin to be marketed only in the Spanish market and a month and a half later it will reach the rest of European countries.
Renault Palencia, a unique factory
Just over a week ago, the Palencia plant was producing the last unit of the Kadjar to make way for a ramp-up in the assembly of the Austral by associating it with the production of the Renault Mégane.
The factory, with a single shift and a single production line, plans to increase in the fourth quarter of the year to 1.5 or even two shifts per increased workload and improving parts supply levels after the impact of the semiconductor crisis. Figures that could rise in 2023 due to the arrival of new models at the Palencia plant.
Renault Austral: an SUV to conquer the market
As for the Austral, it is a five-seater SUV with a body of 4.51 meters long, 1.83 wide and 1.62 highwho uses aluminum as a novelty in the doors or the hood, which saves 30 kilos compared to what it would have meant to do it with steel. A novelty that has forced the Renault plant in Palencia to undertake major works and has increased the level of automation of the Spanish plant.
As for the trunk volume, it is between the 430 and 500 litersdepending on the engine fitted and whether or not the rear seats are slid.
The initial range will consist of four versions: two Mild-Hybrid light hybrids of 140 and 160 hp, and two other self-charging conventional hybrids, of 160 and 200 hp, and automatic gearbox. None will pay registration tax, since the four mechanical versions will receive the DGT Eco environmental label in Spain.