Renault Trucks sees the light

Date: Tuesday, August 23, 2022   |   Author: Steve Banner

Volvo-owned manufacturer aims to make its mark in the light commercial vehicle sector by marketing the medium-sized Trafic van.

Renault Trucks is implementing its plan to start marketing the Renault Trafic through its 73 dealerships. “We should sell over 600 this year, 1,900 in 2023, and more than 3,000 a year come 2024/25,” said UK head of light commercial vehicles, Grahame Neagus.

The move means the Trafic will now be available through three different dealer networks. Renault itself will continue to offer it through its car and van outlets while Nissan dealers sell a rebadged version under the Primastar banner.

A key advantage Volvo Group-owned Renault Trucks enjoys over its rivals is that its network offers out-of-hours servicing in order to support truck operators. As a consequence, Trafic owners can drop their van off at a workshop in the evening, have it serviced overnight, and collect it the following morning.

The truck maker already sells the Master large van but has no plans to add the recently revamped compact Kangoo to its line-up, says Neagus. It promotes Master under the Red Edition banner, and is doing the same with Trafic, complete with a special livery, red seatbelts, a gearlever knob with red piping, and a Renault Trucks rear emblem plate.

Renault Trucks is using its version of Trafic to target the premium end of the 1.0t-or-thereabouts panel van sector says Neagus, by which he means buyers who might otherwise consider Volkswagen’s Transporter, Mercedes-Benz’s Vito or Ford’s hugely-successful Transit Custom. 

It is doing so by offering an attractive level of specification, with H1 vans, crew vans and Combis based around a 2.0L 150hp diesel married to a six-speed EDC (Efficient Dual Clutch) automated transmission as standard. A six-speed manual box is offered as an option.

Red Edition Trafics boast manual air conditioning, cruise control, an induction charger for your smartphone, a pull-out glovebox and a dashboard with chrome inserts. 

Move up to Red Edition Exclusive and the extra features include 17in black alloy wheels, front fog lights, reversing sensors, side rubbing strips, bumpers and mirror casings all finished in the same colour as the body, and a variety of in-cab enhancements. The load area gets LED lighting and L2H1 vans come with rear doors that can be swung through 270º.

Neagus and his colleagues are hoping to stimulate interest in what their Trafic has to offer by rolling out no less than three special editions.

Designed to celebrate the success of Renault Trucks in the 2022 Dakar rally, the Exclusive Dakar comes with a cab with a two-tone leather interior and a Bosch jet wash mounted in the load area. The wash can draw on sufficient water to blast your muddy wellies clean and get the worst of the muck off spades and shovels.

Renault Trucks can trace its roots back to French engineer Marius Berliet, who built his first vehicle at the end of the 19th century. To celebrate this heritage, the Exclusive 1894 Edition Trafic features a blue and gold interior for the cab, which also boasts a fridge.

Then there is the Exclusive Racing Edition, which takes its blue and red colour cues from the Alpine F1 racing cars. Goodies include a three-colour leather interior, illuminated step wells, sill bars and a rear spoiler.

Turning to less-glamorous offerings, Renault Trucks has teamed up with Dorset body builder Horton Commercials to produce a Luton with a 17m3 load space on a Trafic platform-cab. The City Mover can handle a 950kg payload.

Quarter three of this year will see the arrival of three other platform cab-based models; OptiCage, with a cage dropside body built by Stevens of Shropshire, OptiChiller 2, with a refrigerated box body courtesy of Scotland’s Gray & Adams suitable for chilled or fully-frozen work, and a mobile catering vehicle from Jiffy.

Returning to vans, CoolKit has come up with an OptiChiller conversion suitable for chilled work, while Bott has been busy racking out Trafics with an eye to the needs of mobile engineers.

Tools and other items are regularly stolen from vans, alas, and Renault Trucks has conjured up a security measure which should help frustrate all but the most-determined and professional of thieves. It is an OptiSafe steel door which sits inside the load area’s factory-fitted doors, and is designed to withstand a sustained assault.

Specify these doors to protect the cargo bay’s rear and side door apertures and you will add 105kg to the van’s weight, and leave your bank balance £2,700 lighter. Renault Trucks cites a recent survey of over 1,000 trades people however, that reveals that tool theft costs them almost £6,000 on average – so that £2,700 could prove to be money well spent.


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