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A happy mix of history, culture and vehicles at Renault Trucks’ for the European heritage day

History and industry combine once again at Renault Trucks on September 20th and 21st 2008 at the European Heritage Days… a unique occasion to relive the heady days of trucking history through an exhibition at Vénissieux of 34 vehicles borrowed from the Berliet Foundation and numerous events over the weekend.

For the fifth consecutive year, Renault Trucks Vénissieux site opens up its doors to everyone interested in reliving the grand old days of the truck. On the agenda, several events for visitors’ enjoyment, whether they be young or old, connoisseurs or ordinary by-passers.

For  those passionate about their history, a visit to the Berliet Passion Workshop is a must: 34 vehicles from cars to HGVs, via military machinery all renovated using state-of-the-art techniques by the Berliet Foundation to mark the major phases in the automobile industry in the Rhone Alpes since 1917. Those passionate about mechanics will enjoy the great generations of engines since 1931 which are exhibited at the site museum and admire the Radiance Concept truck. For a moment of relaxation in the afternoon, you can watch the film “Marius, Paul and their Trucks”. And finally, to recover from all these emotions, each day Renault Trucks will host a concert given by the entire brass section of Lyon’s National Orchestra (ONL).

As the modern-day heirs of the Berliet Truck dynasty, the trucks with the famous lozenge-shaped logo will be on show beside their illustrious ancestors,  including the Stradair with the first pneumatic suspension ever seen on a truck, the famous Gazogène used during the Second World War and the first electrical hearse which was a fine illustration of the company’s desire to find alternative solutions to diesel. Bringing these two worlds together is more than just theatrics, it is a tribute to the day-to-day work of the designers at Renault Trucks. Under the direction of Hervé́ Bertrand, director of the manufacture’s new Design Centre, they always take inspiration from the trucks of yesteryear so as to better imagine those of tomorrow.

Renault Trucks’ historic site in Vénissieux opened its doors in 1917 at a time when Marius Berliet was launching production of his first vehicles, a 15 hp car and a 5 ton truck. Today, the Lyon site – now spread to the commune of Saint-Priest – is home to the Group’s major tertiary activities (head office, sales, research and development, design and IT), and an engine assembly plant and stamping centre employing a total of 5,300 people.

As well as the European Heritage Days, Renault Trucks has, for three years, been contributing to the growth of the city of Lyon’s cultural influence. Through numerous good-cause sponsorships and partnerships with the Fête des Lumières, the Biennales de Lyon and Celestins Theatre and Lyon’s National Orchestra, the manufacturer has made culture a permanent feature, giving a new and full meaning to its values of care, efficiency and innovation.

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