Ruitz, France, October 2013 – The Société de Transmissions Automatiques (STA – Automatic Transmissions Company) was given the go-ahead to start manufacturing the new DP8 automatic gearbox. It is intended for the 4WD version of Renault Duster
. The DP8 is the first automatic gearbox for four-wheel drive vehicles designed and manufactured by the Renault Group.
The manufacturing agreement meant production of the first DP8 transmissions could go ahead. They left the assembly line on 14 October 2013 and were sent to Russia the same day.
This latest DP automatic transmission completes the range made up of the DP0 and DP2. STA has produced a total of 1.2 million DP gearboxes since the project was launched in 1996-1997. The DP8 could account for 20% of STA’s output from 2014.
Granting the DP8 manufacturing approval rewards three years of work by the engineers and technicians from STA product and process engineering, and by the Rueil and Pitesti teams who developed the power transmission in cooperation with vehicle engineering for the integration of this powertrain component.
This manufacturing approval is the result of the dedication of the STA and Romania engineering teams and of a great deal of coordination between several plants. I would like to thank everyone who contributed to our reaching this stage. This new gearbox is a product that will undoubtedly be a great success with our customers, Franck Blejean, DP8 project manager in the Powertrain Engineering Department.
Javier Bernaldez, managing director of the Ruitz site, points out: This remarkable outcome highlights the professionalism of the STA teams, and adds: Now we have to honour our order portfolio, which is liable to grow substantially because the automatic version of Duster 4WD is bound to be very popular in Russia.
A gearbox intended for the Russian market
The DP8, which is compact and competitively priced, is liable to appeal to many Russian buyers in a country where 30% of all vehicles are equipped with automatic transmission (60% in Moscow). The new gearbox is also suited to Russia’s road infrastructure and the wide range of temperatures drivers encounter there and in other CIS countries, where it may be launched later.
A good return on investment
The design and production of the DP8 was the subject of an investment kept down to under €1.5 million. In fact the DP8 was designed on the basis of a DP2 – which already equips vehicles built on the M0 platform. Carryover was emphasised in the manufacturing process.
STA is the only Renault Group site making automatic transmissions.
The site’s business underpins Renault’s international growth. Using specific skills and the related technologies, STA employees working in three shifts turn out up to 1,600 gearboxes daily for Renault
, Dacia, Nissan, Peugeot, Citroën and the Chinese automaker Chery.
At the moment more than 90% of the site’s production goes for export, mainly to the bodywork-assembly plants making vehicles built on the M0 platform: Avtoframos (Russia), Pitesti (Romania), Curitiba (Brazil), Medellin (Colombia), as well as Avtovaz (Russia) for Nissan.
The STA assembly process was reorganised to ensure it could cope with the DP0, DP2 and DP8 on the same line. The work focused on replacing electric screwdrivers, adapting workstations and making alterations to test benches at the end of the line. All the operators have been receiving training in assembling the DP8 for the past year.
The STA plant, Ruitz: a few figures
Background: The Société de Transmission Automatique (STA), set up in 1970, is a subsidiary owned 80% by Renault and 20% by PSA Peugeot Citroën. STA is the only automatic gearbox manufacturer in the Alliance located in Europe.
Staff: 570 people (on 30 September 2013).
Production: 97,138 automatic gearboxes for Renault and 197,333 kits for PSA (on 31 December 2012).
Surface area: 49 hectares, including 10 hectares of buildings.