Renault has announced that it is to manufacture Fiat’s next medium panel van, which is due in 2016. Its current medium panel van, the Scudo, has been manufactured by PSA since 1996, and shares the same design as the Citroen Dispatch and Peugeot Expert.
Heavy Van production not affected
New venture between Renault and Fiat sees the two major automotive companies tied into a manufacturing agreement for the very first time. It’s understood that Fiat will continue to manufacture the recently updated Citroen Relay and Peugeot Boxer, though, at its Val di Sangro plant in Northern Italy until 2019.
PSA, meanwhile, have turned to Toyota to fill the vacancy at their factory, which resulted in the launch of the Proace last year.
The new Fiat will share the same platform as the Trafic and will be manufactured at Sandouville, northern France, along with the Renault Trafic, Vauxhall/Opel Vivaro and the Nissan NV300. It has been reported that Renault has allocated itself approximately 50% of the 150,000 production capacity, Fiat 20%, Opel/GM 10% and Nissan 7%.
Fiat and Renault were very sketchy about the appearance of the van, but a spokesman for Fiat announced that, “the styling of the Fiat vehicle will be developed by Fiat and will feature unique and distinctive elements on the model, branded Fiat Professional”.
It has been suggested that these ‘distinctive elements’ could include the fitting of Fiat’s own headlights, grille and bonnet which will give the van its own unique styling, like what Volkswagen have done with the Crafter and Nissan have done with the NV400.
It’s likely, though, that the Fiat will inherit many of the Trafic’s loading attributes. This includes the same two nominal GVWs of 2.7t and 2.9t, load volumes of between 5.4m³ and 8.6³.