Business Alaskan: a five-year gestation to give birth in Santa...

Alaskan: a five-year gestation to give birth in Santa Isabel

In April 2015, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance announced a strategic agreement with Daimler to manufacture trucks in Argentina.

To put it into operation, 600 million dollars were invested in the Cordovan plant in Santa Isabel, where the production line was created to manufacture the Nissan Frontier, Renault Alaskan and X-Class models of Mercedes Benz, with the plan to manufacture 70 thousand units by year.

To this disbursement we must add another millionaire figure that was assumed by the autopartist suppliers, which in many cases involves the robotization of part of their structures.

The new line was inaugurated at the end of July 2018 with the production of the pick up Japanese, which on November 5 last year marked the record of 10,000 units exported, with a shipment to Brazil.

The plan was to stop the production of the Alaskan between the end of 2018 and the first months of 2019, since they have the same platform and share most of the parts and suppliers.

But the Argentine recession and the change in the national government delayed the departure of the project.

To this was added that, in April of last year, Daimler decided to cancel the Class X project, which further darkened the horizon.

Profile change

The panorama changed from January 1 of this year with the entry of Pablo Sibilla as CEO of Renault Argentina, who made it a priority to profile Santa Isabel as a manufacturer of utility vehicles, a product not so sensitive to the ups and downs of the market like cars, and with a greater export bias.

Since Clio Mio’s disappearance, the firm has not had an exportable product.

Therefore, the first thing he did was take the third most successful model in six decades that the Cordovan factory has, the Kangoo, and start with the export to Mexico and the homologation process in Brazil, with the plan to start shipments there in 2021.

The second step was taken last week, when Sibilla incorporated the manufacturing of Alaskan into the projects for next year.

Those who know the first Renault van closely assure that the project “is almost everything ready” since 2018 and that only the French group’s decision remained, which belies the market rumors that the project was deactivated.

Although the executive indicated that this vehicle targets the domestic market, it emerged that it will also go abroad, for which markets such as Brazil, Chile and Colombia are being analyzed.

Plant. Santa Isabel has the defined protocols to start assembling vehicles from Tuesday, May 26. (Renault Press)

Production volumes are pending the advance of the Covid-19 virus.

The manufacturing of 18,000 Frontier vans was planned for this year, a goal that clearly cannot be met, especially after the plant spent eight weeks closed due to quarantine.

However, the figure allows us to project that the line of Santa Isabel trucks will be distributed half for the pick up Nissan and the other half for Renault.

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