- SoVAB, short for Société des Véhicules Automobiles de Batilly, a wholly-owned Renault subsidiary located in Batilly, Meurthe-et-Moselle (France), today celebrated the two millionth vehicle to roll off the assembly lines since 1980. It was a Master, for a Moroccan customer: Maroc Telecom.
- SoVAB is the sole large-van production plant in France. It has more than 30 years’ know-how and manages exceptional diversity with 350 versions of Master. The plant’s know-how is recognized beyond the company, since SoVAB also makes LCVs for Renault Trucks, Opel and Nissan.
Juan José Palomo, Director of Renault’s Light Commercial Vehicle Division, who handed the keys to a Master, the second millionth vehicle manufactured by the plant, to a representative of Maroc Telecom, said: “Light commercial vehicles are a strategic pillar in the internationalization of the Renault Group. Our Moroccan customers recognize the quality of our products and of the Renault Pro+ network, which caters to all our customer demands.”
SoVAB’s unique know-how SoVAB has been specialized in the production of large vans since 1980 and is the only plant to make this type of vehicle in France. Batilly produced the first-generation Master from 1980 to 1997 and the second-generation model from 1997 to 2010. With the third-generation model, manufactured since 2010, the plant today is celebrating the second millionth vehicle to roll off its assembly lines, as well as the success of Master, a hugely popular vehicle with customers, including outside of France.
The know-how and manufacturing quality of the Batilly plant have enabled it to develop additional production within the Renault-Nissan Alliance, along with partnerships with Opel and Renault Trucks. The plant’s historic partner, Renault Trucks has assigned manufacturing of Mascott, Master I and now Master II to the Batilly plant. Under the cooperation agreement between Renault and GM, the plant has also made the Opel Vauxhall/Movano since 1998. For Nissan, the plant produced the Interstar from 2002 onwards and has manufactured the NV 400 since 2011.
With a production volume of 101,822 vehicles in 2012, SoVAB is the biggest private-sector employer in the Meurthe-et-Moselle département.
- 30 years’ know-how and expertise 2,517 employees at 31 December 2012 101,822 Master III produced in 2012
ISO 14001 (environment) and ISO 9001 (quality) certification
Highly Protected Risk (HRP) approval
350 versions of Master
- 101 hectares, of which 181,838 m2 with buildings
Master: an industrial and commercial success
At end-2012, Renault was producing 30% of the LCVs sold in France and 15% of those sold in Europe. Master is one of the keys to this success story, accounting for more than one-quarter of sales.
The third-generation Master, manufactured at Batilly since 2010, has been a commercial hit all over Europe with customers attentive to the quality and reliability of the product. It leads its segment in France, with a near 25% of the segment at end-2012. Number four in Europe with more than 13% of the van segment, it has contributed to Renault’s leadership of the LCV market for the past 15 years. Master is a driver of the Renault group’s international growth. Masters produced at Batilly are mainly sold in France, Algeria, Germany and Turkey. This commercial success is good for the Batilly plant, which exports almost 70% of its output, 15% to countries outside Europe.
Hugely popular with customers, Master has also received accolades from industry professionals, picking up a number of awards in 2012, including Van of the Year in the Netherlands, and LCV of the Year in Germany.* Master III is a quality benchmark in its segment in Europe, a selling point in the LCV sector where business owners need a vehicle they can depend on every day and for a long time.
Renault offers customers a very wide choice, thanks to the plant’s ability to handle the 350 different versions of Master III and 300 special vehicle order colors. An impressive feat, made possible by the know-how of the employees who work at Batilly and an industrial investment of €180 million for the volume production of Master III.
LCVs: an important stake for Renault’s future
Light commercial vehicles are vital to Renault’s future, in terms of profitability and international growth. The LCV leader in Europe since 1998, Renault has also expanded internationally thanks to LCVs.
– Renault is the LCV leader thanks to the outstanding performance of Master, which has a 32% share of its segment.
– 3 Renault Pro+ dealerships are now open in Morocco, and 2 more are scheduled to open later this year.
– 5 Moroccan coachbuilders have Renault approval.
* The award is decided by a panel of 15 small business owners who tested 12 LCVs (under 3.5 metric tons) in a double-cab chassis version with a drop-side flat bed in real-life conditions. The assessment and ranking include dynamic performance, vehicle design and value for money (calculated by DERKA).