“It is our ambition to become Renault’s second or third Powertrain Plant in the world” Nicholas Maure, Dacia Groupe Renault Powertrain Plant Manager
N.O. What can you tell us about the Dacia Groupe Renault Powertrain Plant?
N.M. The Mechanics plant is a new entity created on September 1, 2006. The decision to establish it was made taking into consideration the current level as well as the future developments of our mechanical plant during the next years. The turnover, the quantity of mechanical parts to be delivered to customers outside Romania will continue to grow so, by 2009, two thirds of our output will be for the foreign markets. I can point for example to Logan applications in Russia, India, South Africa, etc., or the beginning of the manufacturing of a new MT1 gearbox of five speeds by Renault Mechanique Romania - a stand alone legal entity. We will be the second Renault unit to manufacture this kind of gearbox that will be sold both to the Renault and to the Nissan customers. The new gearbox will be 100 per cent exported. Our plant now has nearly 2,000 employees, but their number will increase up to 3,000 by 2010 as we are counting on a double output.
In what regards the aim of our activity, we manufacture 1.4 L and 1.6 L gasoline engines for the Logan model, some Diesel engines for Renault Kangoo - only for export, five speed gearboxes of Renault concept for Logan, transmission systems, and so forth. Since we have our own aluminium foundry, we are also able to produce rough or processed parts to other Renault sites. With regard to our short and medium objectives, our primary intention is to extend the plant, to make and keep it competitive especially qualitatively. Ten per cent of the mechanical plant’s turnover has been invested in development. However, performance cannot only be achieved with machines, one also needs people for that, and one of the biggest challenges that we have is to raise the level of competence, the know-how of existing and future personnel to the standards of any Renault-Nissan Alliance plant in the world.
N.O. What do you expect to be your main challenges on the short and medium term?
N.M. On a short term it will be to commence producing the new MT1 transmission by the middle of 2008. The essential thing as far as we are concerned is to start that process under the best possible conditions quality-wise. The Renault guideline has been extremely clear in that respect: quality requirements are the same as the one applicable to the plant in Seville that manufactures the same type of gear boxes. In terms of competitiveness, we want to be as competitive as the other Renault-Nissan mechanics plants around the world. It is our ambition to become the second or third Renault mechanics plant in the world.
"Nine O’Clock" – February 28, 2007; Author: Ruxandra Radoslavescu