Renault Prepares for Third-Gen Trafic

Gary S. Vasilash

This is the second-generation Renault Trafic light commercial vehicle (LCV), which was launched in 2010:

Renault Trafic 2010

This is a tease of the third-generation Trafic, which is to launch later this year:

Renault Trafic Tease

Admittedly, the first picture is of a real vehicle and the second is an illustration.

About the design of the forthcoming Trafic, Kihyun Jung, the designer of the vehicle, said, “Its lines embody Renault’s new brand identity. My aim was to achieve a dynamic, assertive stance without sacrificing either the robustness or user-friendliness customers expect of their van.”

Given that light-commercial vehicles like the Trafic often make their way over to the U.S. from elsewhere (think of the Mercedes Sprinter, which was a Dodge for a while; the Ram ProMaster, which started as the Fiat Ducato; the Chevy City Express, which is a Nissan NV Cargo with a bright bowtie), one could hope that something as stylish as the third-gen Trafic could make it (although arguably, given that there is the Renault-Nissan Alliance, and as Nissan already has NV vehicles in the market, built in plants in both Canton, Mississippi, and Cuernavaca, Mexico, the odds are slight).

Incidentally, the Trafic is produced at the Renault plant in Sandouville, which is in Normandy. The plant started production in 1964, with the Renault 16 family sedan.

The Trafic had been made in plants in the U.K. and Spain, but with a €230-million investment in Sandouville, the plant is going to handle the third-generation Trafic. Apparently, the Trafic, about which details are scant, is 60-cm longer and taller than other models built there, which necessitated a variety of modifications, from providing special skids for the vans (in addition to those that exist for the cars) in the paint shop, robots to apply mastic and paint to the interior of the vans (which aren’t used for the cars), installing 187 welding robots in the bodyshop, and more.