Renault Vèhicules Industriels
The history of bus production of Renault started in 1909. A 21-seat forward control single deck bus with radiator behind the driver was produced for use in Paris. Exhaust gas interior heater and pneumatic tyres enhanced comfort to passengers. The maximum speed of the bus was 13km/h. During World War I the factory concentrated on military models and ceased production of civilian models.
After the war, the company co-operated with Scemia and Renault buses has taken a lion's share among Paris buses by 1924. The driver-over engine layout as in their first buses has been changed to driver beside engine layout. 4-speed transmission, double-reduction final drive and servo-assisted four-wheel brakes were fitted to the bus to upgrade its performance. Renault also took initiative to try new models and designs as early as 1920s. Experimental buses at that time included 6X2 single-decker, 65-seat double-decker, battery electric buses and a bonneted coach fitted with 4.8-litre 6-cylinder petrol engine, maximum speed of 88km/h and servo 4-wheel brakes. By 1938, buses with forward and normal control and capacity up to 45 passengers were built.
After World War II, the company was Nationalized as Règie Nationale des Unines Renault. It was not until 1949 that a totally new model was built - a chassisless single-deck bus with 6.2-litre 6-cylinder horizontal under floor diesel engine, 5-speed overdrive transmission, auxiliary coil spring suspension at the rear and air brakes. In 1955, the company was merged with Floriat-Isobloc, Latil, and Somua to form SA de Vèhicules Industriels et Equipe,ents Mècaniques. From late 1957, all Renault buses were sold as Saviem or Saviem-LRS. In 1978, Renault Vèhicules Industriels was formed by the merger of Saviem and Berliet, an coach manufacturer established in 1894. The Renault brand name was reused in 1981.
Acquisitions were made in the 1980s and 1990s. Renault took over Dodge Europe in 1981, Karosa in 1996 and Heuliez in 1998. Remarkable models included citybuses PR100 and PR180 series. Newer models include the low floor bus Agora and hi-decker Iliade.
In 1999, Renault merged with Iveco and formed Irisbus.
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Page created: 23 June 1999
Last updated: 26 December 2004