Renault-Nissan have decided to invest Eur250 million to produce a new compact van – code-named X83 – in Nissan’s Barcelona factory. About 64,000 units per year will be produced in Barcelona, in addition to annual output of 86,000 units from GM Europe’s Luton IBC plant (UK).
This new compact van, which is already in production at Luton, will be first marketed as a Renault Trafic and Opel Vivaro from summer 2001. It will go on the market in Europe with a Nissan badge from the second half of 2002, in order to enhance Nissan’s current LCV line-up.
The decision to manufacture the X83 in Nissan’s Barcelona plant, in addition to GM Europe’s Luton facility in the UK will dramatically increase total output. It will allow Renault, General Motors Europe and Nissan to meet the growing demand for compact LCVs in Europe. In all, combined annual production volumes of the X83 at Luton and Barcelona should reach 150,000 units a year.
This is the first announcement of a cross-badged light commercial vehicle within the Renault-Nissan Alliance in Europe. All the X83 versions, van, combi, bus and chassis-cab will be sold by Nissan in Europe under its own brand name. The Nissan X83 will be differentiated by specific front grille, specific front indicators and specific seats.
X83 production in Barcelona will be the first joint production by the Renault-Nissan Alliance in Europe, after Renault ScÃ©nic built in the Nissan plant in Cuernavaca, Mexico.
Investment in the Nissan Barcelona plant will start in early March this year, in order to cover the development, supplier tooling and other industrial equipment required to manufacture this new product. The modification in the plant layout with a new and dedicated body line and assembly line, will allow a plant capacity of up to 180,000 units per year.
The parts sourcing for this new vehicle will be studied to allow as much local sourcing as possible. About 1,000 new jobs will be created from 2002 and the recruitment and training process will start then.