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Douai’s Journey from Megane Scenic to Scenic E-Tech: A Testament to Evolution and Team Spirit

In a significant milestone for the Douai manufacturing plant in France, the site celebrates the launch of its latest innovation, the Scenic E-Tech Electric. This fifth-generation model, poised to hit the markets soon, marks a full circle for the facility that welcomed its first Scenic back in 1996. Franck Lucas, a seasoned Unit Manager with an impressive 41-year tenure at the plant, shares a unique perspective on the model’s evolution, technological strides, and the enduring team spirit that defines the facility.

Lucas, who played a pivotal role in the production of each Scenic generation, reminisces about the model’s journey from its inception as the Megane Scenic, Europe’s pioneering compact MPV, to its current electric avatar. His journey through the plant’s history is a personal one, starting as an assembly operator for the Renault 11 dashboards and witnessing firsthand the model’s transformation and the plant’s adaptation to evolving automotive technologies.

The Scenic’s evolution is deeply intertwined with Douai’s own transformation. The plant has seen significant changes in production methods, from the introduction of new robots to the digitalisation of production lines. These advancements were not just about technological upgrades but also about improving ergonomics and operational efficiency for the workers.

The latest Scenic E-Tech Electric represents the most dramatic shift yet, transitioning to a fully electric model on a new, dedicated platform. This change necessitated a €550 million investment into the historic Douai plant, ushering in a new era of flexible assembly lines capable of handling multiple vehicle platforms and integrating battery installation seamlessly into the production flow.

Yet, despite these changes, Lucas notes that some things remain steadfast: the emphasis on safety and the strong camaraderie among the team members. He attributes the plant’s success to this sense of family and solidarity, which has been a constant throughout the years.

As he transitions into a training role, Lucas is focused on passing down the values and skills that have been pivotal to the plant’s success. He trains newcomers and veterans alike, emphasizing the importance of camaraderie, precision, and adaptability in the face of change. With the introduction of models like the Renault 5 E-Tech Electric on the horizon, Lucas is optimistic about the future, encouraging his trainees to embrace progress as the plant continues to innovate and evolve.

Douai’s journey from the Megane Scenic to the Scenic E-Tech Electric is more than just a story of automotive innovation; it’s a testament to the enduring spirit of its people and their commitment to excellence, safety, and community.

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