Renault Espace

Complete vehicle development

Comprehensive project management from the pre-project phase through development to production

Because of Bertrandt’s extensive experience of automotive engineering, the company was chosen by Renault as one of its partners for the development of the new Espace. The challenges faced by the team included the high standards set for the car itself and the class of cars in general, combined with ambitious cost-saving targets.   

Renault is once again a leader in the premium class

When it was first launched in 1984, the Espace was a pioneer in the people carrier segment, offering plenty of space for a family and its luggage. The concept of the Espace and its equipment were innovative, including, for example, the variable seats, which at the time were a revolutionary development. The fifth generation Espace provides added comfort and high-tech features, together with a new type of modularity in crossover form. The Bertrandt team was involved in developing the rear seats, which are equipped with an electrical control system that allows them to be folded automatically and fully lowered into the luggage compartment. The headrests can also be lowered at the press of a button. Our specialists also developed the massage function for the front seats and the state-of-the-art seat rail position sensors. The Espace V puts Renault back in the premium segment.

Development activities including the new platform

In the very early project phases, Bertrandt was tasked with creating the test vehicle that would be used later for designing and defining prototype components. Our design work for the front and rear axles also involved us in the development of the new CMF1 platform. Because of the electrical and electronic systems, a variety of different minor adjustments had to be made to the mechanical components and the engine in order to meet the customer’s expectations. In addition, our engineers were responsible for developing many exterior, interior, engine and chassis components. We also worked on these components right through to the production phase on the new CMF1 platform in Douai.

Central interface role

During the development of this luxury car, the focus was on customer quality. The manufacturer set very high standards for its suppliers and partners. In this respect, Bertrandt acted as a central point of contact between the customer and its suppliers. We took on the responsible role of acting as the key interface, which involved managing the milestones that are a standard feature of Renault’s work package project management system. New follow-up tools were developed to make project management and communication easier and to shorten the response times of the teams.  

End-to-end project management

For many components, Bertrandt took full project management responsibility from development through to production. For the chassis, the emphasis was on ease of assembly, which involved the effective coordination of all the activities and detailed adjustments to parts from different departments. Supporting the suppliers was also an important task. One example of this is the development of the panoramic roof where the supplier needed support in the form of Bertrandt’s in-house expertise in developing doors and closures. Bertrandt provided help with the construction and start-up of new machines, in particular test benches.

In order to meet the manufacturer’s quality requirements, perfect interdisciplinary coordination and communication was needed to allow solutions to be developed for minimising noise and for improving ergonomics and the bonded joints. We were also able to reconcile Renault’s design requirements with the technical specifications in the case of the tailgate and other exterior and interior components, such as the full-LED headlights and other lighting and visibility elements.  

In brief

Renault Espace

  • Body and interdisciplinary activities
  • Interior and exterior equipment
  • Chassis
  • Architecture
  • Electronics, electrics
  • Cost, quality and competitive analyses
  • Project management
  • Supplier management