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Renault Re-Factory – Changing Automotive Manufacturing Dimensions

Groupe Renault has announces the transformation of its manufacturing site in Flins, France to create the Re-FACTORY, Europe’s first circular economy factory dedicated to mobility with a negative CO2 balance by 2030. The project, which is part of the Group’s transformation strategy, will enable Renault to benefit from a rapidly growing source of value while reaffirming its industrial footprint in France. In line with the Group’s commitments, the RE-FACTORY will host the renovation activities of Choisy-le-Roi. Groupe Renault is planning support and training schemes for the employees of Flins and Choisy-le-Roi to develop their skills and aims to employ more than 3,000 people on the site by 2030.

The project will enable more than 45.000 pre-owned vehicles to be reconditioned annually commencing in September 2021. The project will involve a simple, fast and cost-optimized logistics scheme supported by an industrial management system. Groupe Renault commented “tomorrow, we need to see vehicles on our roads that are more sustainable, cleaner, capable of living many lives and going further, capable of taking you as far as 1 million miles.”

The climate crisis and Renault customers’ expectations have prompted the Groupe to orient its strategy with strong ambitions in terms of the quality and durability of its products, as well as the reduction of its carbon emissions. Groupe Renault is convinced that the circular economy carries an extremely powerful growth potential. With the RE-FACTORY, the Group’s ambition is to be one step ahead of the competition.

The Re-FACTORY, to be realized between 2021 and 2024, will involve a large network of multisectoral partners (start-ups, academic partners, major groups, local authorities, etc.) and will be structured around four activity centres whose expertise will support the vehicle’s entire life cycle by acting on the main components of the circular economy (supply, eco-design, economy of functionality, maintenance, reuse, remanufacturing and recycling).

The Four Centres of Activity:

  • RE-TROFIT: this division will group together all the activities enabling the life of vehicles and their uses to be extended, in coordination with the Re-Cycle division to ensure efficient management of the flow of used parts and materials within the same site. It will integrate a Factory VO for the reconditioning of used vehicles, a retrofit activity for the conversion of internal combustion engined vehicles to other less carbon-based energies, repair services for vehicle fleets and new mobility, and a service for manufacturing rare parts using 3D printers. It will also rely on a test and prototyping centre for the durability of vehicles and materials, to enrich the design of future vehicles and propose improvements during use.
  • RE-ENERGY: this cluster plans to develop the potential of applications arising from electric batteries and new energies to an industrial scale (including the optimisation of the first life of batteries, development of second life applications such as stationary energy storage, management of the end of life of batteries, and development of technical and supply solutions for new energies such as hydrogen).
  • RE-CYCLE: this division, integrating the activities of Choisy le Roi, will bring together all the Group’s activities contributing to efficient management of resources and their flows to promote the supply of parts and materials in short loops and integrate a growing share of recycled or reused materials (installation of a line for dismantling end-of-life vehicles, extension of remanufacturing, reuse and recycling of materials).
  • RE-START: to enhance and develop industrial know-how, but also to accelerate research and innovation in the circular economy, this cluster plans to house an incubator, as well as a university and training centre.

These four entities will be designed to interact with their environment (subsidiaries, customers, partners, etc.) and will operate in an interconnected and complementary manner. Thus, for example, the RE-TROFIT centre will be able to send used parts to the RE-CYCLE centre and obtain renovated or reused parts in return. The RE-CYCLE centre will also supply the other centres with parts and materials and will source used batteries from the RE-ENERGY centre to prepare them for new use in second life.

The transformation of the site includes the installation of a dismantling line starting 2024, to capture additional volumes and increase capacity to source parts and materials in short loops. The ambition is to become one of the leading dismantling sites in France, and to develop expertise in the dismantling of electric vehicles, with an average of 10,000 vehicles per year.

Jean-Dominique Senard, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Renault declared:This announcement is the result of the remarkable work of Renault’s teams and constructive consultation with our stakeholders, including local authorities. The RE-FACTORY is a new breath of life for Renault, its employees and for the entire region’s dynamism. This project is based on our pioneering commitment to the circular economy, on our values, on our know-how and fully meets our ambition to positively transform our industry.”

“With the RE-FACTORY, Flins will become a European reference in the circular economy. RE-FACTORY will enable the Group to respond to the challenges facing mobility and automotive industry players today – and even more so tomorrow. This plant, with an objective of a negative CO2 balance by 2030, is fully in line with the Group’s global strategy by combining circular economy, reduction of emissions, development of skills and the creation of new value-generating activities,” added Luca de Meo, CEO of Renault.

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