RENAULT TRUCKS CONSTRUCTION DAYS: OVER 1,500 CUSTOMERS HAVE TEST DRIVEN THE "WORKSITE" VEHICLES
One truck out of five sold by Renault Trucks worldwide comes from the Construction range! In 2010, the French manufacturer decided to go out and meet its current and future Renault Kerax and Premium Lander customers via a series of "Construction Days". Totally devoted to the Construction range, these events were organised on three continents, giving Renault Trucks specialists the opportunity of presenting the manufacturer's offering in this field to 1,500 customers in Europe, Argentina, South Africa, the Maghreb region and Russia. In addition, those attending these events were able to discover the range of trucks dedicated to worksite applications, such as worksite supply, as well as Renault Trucks' expertise in cutting fuel consumption. The experts also made a point of carefully listening to these professionals' wants and needs. To date, the Construction Days have generated over 500 sales.
- The Construction Days: raising the profile of our expertise
The idea behind the Construction Days is very straightforward: Informing current and future customers that, on the one hand, Renault Trucks offers one of the most extensive ranges dedicated to "construction activities" and that, on the other, the manufacturer's Optifuel Solutions represents a body of proven expertise combined with simple and efficient solutions to be implemented with the specific aim of significantly reducing consumption in "construction" applications. The simplest way of doing this was therefore to go out and meet current and future customers to explain this to them. And even to demonstrate it by giving them the opportunity of putting vehicles designed and manufactured by Renault Trucks through their paces on highly technical test tracks - under conditions which sometimes even exceed those regularly encountered on actual "worksites"!
- Renault Trucks currently offers one of the broadest range of choices to satisfy customer wants and needs; But this has to be made known.
The Construction Days were therefore an opportunity to show current or future customers the full extent of Renault Trucks' expertise.
The Construction range is built around two complementary vehicles: Premium Lander and Renault Kerax. Payload and outstanding comfort for worksite supply applications distinguish the first of these, while the second stands out for its maximum pulling power and sturdiness for the most challenging heavy duty work.
- Renault Trucks is now recognised for its fuel saving expertise both by customers and the European press. First of all offered on the Long Distance range, Optifuel Solutions, the selection of tools and services designed to deliver lower fuel consumption, has been available for the Construction range since last year.
The first element, Optifuel Technology, incorporates the best of Renault Trucks' technology related to fuel savings. These include Optidriver+, the robotised gearbox best adapted to construction applications from worksites to worksite supply. With its automated off-road or on-road modes, together with its swift and accurate gearshift, it delivers safety, comfort, protection for the powertrain and low fuel consumption. Highly praised by its users, the current rate of growth in Europe is 65% for the Renault Kerax and 80% for the Premium Lander 11 L vehicle. As far as the Euro V engines (DXi 11 and 13 L) are concerned, they offer maximum torque even at low engine speeds. The DXi 11 engine also offers the broadest green range in its category.
The second element, Optifuel Programme, is a comprehensive set of services giving operators all the tools and expertise they need to make immediate and sustainable fuel savings. There are now 300 companies of all sizes - representing as many as 14,000 drivers - which have chosen the Optifuel Programme in Europe and therefore enjoy its distinctive advantages: a reduction in consumption of up to 15% for an entire fleet.
The return on investment for Optifuel Programme can be achieved "within 3 to 4 months with a fleet of 10 vehicles," explains Franck Chiffre, service offer marketing manager. "Implementing a training plan will lead to a de facto reduction in maintenance costs, since rational driving 'relieves the strain' on vehicles and reduces incidentology costs, resulting from drivers' more cautious driving style," he continues. Finally, "Using Optifuel Infomax generates no costs associated with additional equipment on the vehicle, since our entire heavy duty range has been pre-equipped to accommodate it ever since Euro 2. Furthermore, there are no monthly subscription costs. Software updates are free and easily downloadable."
- The Construction Days: Organising Construction range test drives
From April to September, over 300 European businesses, operating in various fields of the Construction sector, were invited to the Vallée Bleu test facility close to Lyon (Rhône, France). Negotiating genuine off-road tracks, some of them technical and others featuring numerous pitfalls, customers were able to experience being on board the vehicles as both passengers and drivers, successively using Euro V or EEV (Enhanced Environmentally friendly Vehicle) models, always under extreme operating conditions:
- a Renault Kerax DXi 11 460 hp, 6x4 and Optidriver+,
- two Renault Kerax 8x4 Optidriver+ (DXi13 520 hp in its "heavy" version and a DXi11 460 hp),
- a Renault Premium Lander DXi 11 460 hp, 4x2, OptiTrack & Optidriver+,
- a Renault Premium Lander DXi 11 460 hp, 8x2*6 and Optidriver+,
- one of the 6 Renault Kerax and one of the 6 Sherpas that took part in the "Cape to Cape" expedition.
In 2010, Renault Trucks added a major new feature to its offering: Premium Lander OptiTrack. This is a vehicle fitted with a system enabling it to switch from a 4x2 mode to a 4x4 mode simply by pressing a button on the dashboard. This is achieved by means of two hydraulic motors incorporated into the wheel hubs, providing extra power to get it out of difficult situations.
- The Construction Days: local variations
Renault Trucks is currently represented in over 100 countries. Renault Kerax, Premium Lander and their various versions are an illustration of this international presence. Kerax: from West Africa with 6x6 tractors for pipeline or road construction to Chile in the Andes Cordillera at an altitude of 4,500 m with 8x4s for mining applications and Italy with 8x4 40 ton (GVW) tippers to meet local "Mezzo di Opera" regulations. Premium Lander: from the Middle East with 4x2 or 6x4 tankers for transporting hydrocarbons to 6x4 or 4x2 tractors in Russia which, on their run from Moscow to Ekaterinbourg (1,500 km), cross the Urals on roads that are often very difficult in winter. Vastly different conditions and requirements such as these make it impossible to present identical vehicles to all these customers!
Most of the Construction Days for European countries were organised at the Vallée Bleue test track (Isère, France). Although customers from the Middle East were also invited to take part in test drives at this site, other Renault Trucks' subsidiaries adapted the Construction Days concept to their own local customers so that they could try out these heavy duty vehicles under more familiar worksite and worksite supply conditions.
- Argentina (April 2010: the "Argentina - Chile Rally 2010" took place during nearly 20 days right after the latest edition of the Dakar Rally. Renault Sherpa and Renault Kerax covered a route taking in six Argentinian provinces, where they visited six Renault Trucks dealerships (Bahía Blanca, Mendoza, Tucumán, Córdoba, Santa Fé and Buenos Aires). Each visit lasted two days, during which the 500 guests were able to try out the vehicles for themselves, as well as become more familiar with Renault Trucks' products and services. At the same time, Renault Trucks launched its "Rally" range in Argentina, to commemorate the 2010 edition of the famous Dakar. This edition will be limited to only 50 vehicles, and is based on the Premium Lander 440 DXi 4x2 tractor. exemplaires.
- Algeria (May 2010): with over 30 firm orders at stake, 40 Moroccan and Algerian customers were invited to try out four vehicles from the Construction range in a quarry near Algiers.
- Russia (May and June 2010): the 7,500 km tour organised by the Russian subsidiary consisted of seven stages in the Russian Federation and neighbouring Byelorussia (Perm, Tcheliabinsk, Ufa, Krasnodar, Smolensk, Minsk and Moscow). More than 350 customers took up the invitation to get some hands-on experience of Renault Trucks vehicles (in particular two Kerax and a Renault Premium Lander) at dealerships in the country's largest towns. To date, this local edition of the Construction Days has led to more than 250 sales.
- South Africa (5 and 6 October): Some 60 professionals were invited to try out various Renault Kerax and Premium Lander configurations in a quarry close to Johannesburg. 10 firm orders have already been placed, with negotiations underway on several other promising deals.
- Austria (October 2010): 220 customers from Austria, Slovenia and Croatia were invited to Breitenau. They were able to try out four different Premium Lander versions, including one fitted with the OptiTrack system, as well as three Renault Kerax configurations. In order to give a comprehensive overview of the full range, they were accompanied by two Renault Midlums, two new Master by Renault Trucks models and a Maxity.
- The Construction Days: 1,500 customers invited, generating 500 sales
Renault Trucks invited a total of 1,500 customers to its Construction Days in Europe, Argentina, South Africa, the Maghreb, Russia and Byelorussia. These events allowed them to discover all the possibilities offered by the Construction range, test drive the vehicles under real operating conditions, usually in quarries or on off-road tracks and learn how fuel consumption can be reduced.
All Construction Days events led to sales, resulting in firm orders for almost 500 Renault Kerax and Premium Lander vehicles to date. Ongoing negotiations could result in this figure growing by up to 1,000 additional vehicles.
- The Construction Days: highly productive discussions with customers in vivo and in situ
Wherever these Construction Days were held, they always resulted in highly productive discussions between customers and Renault Trucks engineers.
For example, European customers were particularly impressed by:
- the vehicle's crossing capacity resulting from its design (best approach angle on the market, ground clearance, etc.)
- powertrain performance: a broad range of maximum torque at low engine speeds from 950 rpm associated with the Optidriver+ gearbox and its off-road mode which make it the best robotised gearbox on the market for construction applications
- the driving comfort, safety and improved consumption delivered by the Optidriver+ robotised gearbox
- the lower fuel consumption can be easily achieved by means of the Optifuel Programme
- the advantages offered by the OptiTrack system, both in terms of pulling power and productivity
- the improvement in manoeuvrability (a 14% tighter turning radius) and additional 500 kg of payload provided by the 8x2*6 Renault Premium Lander configuration compared with an 8x4 configuration.
During these events, Renault Trucks' engineers and specialists particularly appreciated the close contact they were able to have with their customers and the information they were able to gather: "The Construction Days gave us a genuine opportunity to have meaningful discussions about our customers' activities, as well as their wants and needs. There are many, many different ways of carrying out the same activity. Every customer faces a unique set of issues, which Renault Trucks undertakes to solve with an equally unique ‘product-services’ solution,” explains Patrice Roeser, Head of Marketing for the Construction range. Raphaël Ferranti, product manager, goes even further, stating that the Construction Days succeeded in convincing customers, irrespective of how much – or how little – they knew about Renault Trucks: “Getting behind the wheel of a truck and trying it out on a real off-road track has much more impact that a set of figures on a specification sheet or sales aid,” he says. During these test drives, customers were able to appreciate the vehicle’s mobility and manoeuvrability for themselves. They went away convinced by the genuine advantages offered by our Worksite range”.
In more general terms, the full days spent talking to small groups of customers allowed Renault Trucks specialists and engineers to demonstrate in situ and in vivo the supremacy of the Renault Trucks Construction range in terms of both mobility and crossing capacity.