Amicale du Trateur Renault

© Tous droits réservés Amicale du Tracteur Renault 1993-2019

   1965 - 1975

Extracts taken from the CD-Rom "Amicale du Tracteur Renault" (1999 - Jacques Gouet)
and extracts from the "Encyclopédie du Tracteur Renault"
Three volumes (1919-1970) - (1971-2000) - (2000-2005) Editions ETAI
(Reproduced on this site with permission of ETAI)

     In 1966 the Tracto-Control was Renault’s star attraction at SIMA ; indeed, whereas the majority of competitors were providing a depth control device through the 3rd point connecting rod ; Renault fitted it to the pull rods, which improved performance.  

   A new range was brought out in 1967, replacing the Master ; then swiftly in the same fashion the 35 to 46hp tractors replaced the doughty ET5 range.  

   In 1968, it was the turn of a genuine range of vinyard and orchard 

     In 1967 the factory at Le Mans set about bringing together the production workshops, which at that point were as scattered on the car production side, as for tractor production.

     A new layout was researched and put in place in 1969 enabling self-management of the tractor manufacturing process. At that time, the tractor works employed 1,400 workers and 400 staff out of a 10,000-strong workforce at the factory at Le Mans.

     Depending on the model type, manufacturing operations accounted for 35 to 40% of the final value of each tractor.

    However, the tractor works continued to utilise the services of the car plant, particularly in respect of  :

-         personnel management

-          certain special production processes

-          information technology

     It was also in 1969 that the network was reorganised, effectively separating the mechanised farming operations in the branches . Subsequently, the Renault Motoculture Centres (CRM) were established.

     To stand up to the competition, which is often long established, Renault put an emphasis on the partnership approach with machinery manufacturers.

     However, there was a battle to be won, the race for horsepower had begun and Renault did not have a market presence in the over 70 hp sector.

 In 1969, Renault launched the Renault 94 and 96 with 77 and 88hp, there again ; as with the 385 model, the battle was hard-fought, Renault had to behave like a winner and the competition was not gentle.  

     That same year, a contract was signed with Allis Chalmers for the supply by Renault of tractors based on the Renault 56 and sold in the United States under the Allis Chalmers brand. Precisely 6,193 tractors were sold between 1969 and 1973, with 2,395 of these sold in 1969.

 In 1970 Denis Berget was named as Director of Agricultural Equipment Division.

    " We are entering a critical period ; the production arm is operating at full tilt (200 tractors per day in 3 x 8) and a new upmarket range has just been brought to market.

    It is a matter of strengthening our position in the low and mid-range markets and above all ensuring a successful launch of the upmarket range. "

    Significant improvements had been made to Tracto-Control (notably a reduction in the speed of descent), the widespread use of hydrostatic steering and, as always, the increase in power with a Renault 98 equipped with 100hp and even a 145hp prototype.

     To improve the site renovation, Renault established Regional Used Vehicle Centres (CRO); which helped with the delicate matter of uplift when selling equipment.

 

   As the 4 x 4 had a growing number of supporters ; and as Renault did not make front axles, it was necessary to source these from appropriate manufacturers; and so axles supplied by ZF, Zetor and Hurth were installed.

     In these circumstances, Renault and the Italian company Carraro concluded a contract in 1972 for the supply of front axles, amongst other things.   

     In 1973 this collaboration bore fruit with the release of a new range in the lower and mid-markets.  

  

    But the preceding years had done little to change mindsets; and, in a Press Conference held on 8 February 1973, Denis Berget announced :

« After some testing times, experienced by DMA as well as by its competitors, our objectives are clear and can be summarised as follows :

-          Not sales volume at any price, but an adequate commercial volume.

-          Improve the range, ensure its development and perfect the customer service provision. »

 

    Following on from the low and mid-ranges, the turn of the upmarket range came in 1974 with models of 75 to 140hp ; but the 140hp that was introduced did not progress beyond the prototype stage.

     On the technical front, there was a noteworthy release of the Turbo engine, and the general use of the reversing mechanism in the gearbox ; a non-synchronised reverser that presented several drawbacks in operation

.  

     Further changes in that year :

-          The DMA Head Office moved from Pont de Sèvres to Vélizy.

-          The After-Sales Service was set up at Le Mans.

-          The Training Centre at Sonchamp was transferred to Evreux.

    

Translated by LCI Bretagne

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