( Worldcarfans ) - Production of the third vehicle in Renault Commitment 2009 has started at the Novo Mesto plant in Slovenia. To enhance the quality and profitability of New Twingo production, Renault:
invested €400 million
hired 700 people and trained them in Renault standards
reduced initial outlay by 25% on Clio III
The plant was modernized and equipped with new technologies for New Twingo. Renault installed a line of stamping presses able to make large body parts, built more efficient cataphoresis equipment (for treating body surfaces) and constructed a covered test track. To manufacture the new model alongside Clio II, 700 people were hired, taking the workforce to nearly 3,000. All the operators were trained an average 70 hours on how to assemble the new vehicle. Running on three shifts from May, the plant's maximum output capacity is 210,000 vehicles a year, Twingo and Clio II combined.
Profitability targets for the project have been met, notably through the use of carry-over. Part of the running gear of Clio II, recognized for its dynamic and reassuring performance, was used for New Twingo. This method cuts costs in developing and adapting the production base: initial outlay for New Twingo was around 25% lower than for Clio III.
These demanding performance standards also apply to quality at Novo Mesto. The objective is to place New Twingo top-three in its segment on quality. The Slovenian plant scores extremely high on the quality of finished vehicles and respect for the production sequence, ensuring that customers receive their vehicles on time. In 2006, the JD Power CSI survey ranked Clio II, built exclusively in Slovenia since 2005, top-three on quality in its segment in France.
The plant has set new quality records for New Twingo. When manufacturing approval was obtained in February 2007, the number of observed defects was half that of Modus and Clio III - which score high on quality in surveys and the press - at the same phase of the project. The arrival of New Twingo has also stepped up the already considerable progress made with Clio II on ergonomics, with arduous workstations reduced by 20%.
New Twingo goes to market on June 15 in France, Italy and Slovenia and in September for the rest of Europe. It is the third model launched as part of Renault Commitment 2009 and the first for the Renault brand, announcing the start of the new product offensive in Europe. The newcomer has a twofold mission to build on the renown of Twingo I (2.4 million units sold since 1993) and win new customers (younger and more masculine) in new countries. Where the main customers of Twingo I were French, German and Italian, New Twingo is aimed at a more international clientele. More European than ever, it is available in right-hand drive to conquer the UK market, while its even more seductive styling will appeal to southern European countries.