Renault Factory at West Heidelberg. Local History.
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  1. #1
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    Icon14 Renault Factory at West Heidelberg. Local History.

    For those interested.

    I recently browsed the local newspaper archives at Heidelberg Library. Came across an article about the establishment of the Renault Factory.

    Source The Heidelberger dated 24th of August 1966
    Front page;

    Head line = Renault Factory at West Heidelberg.

    Mr. Jaques Thoridnet, the Managing Director of Renault (Australia) Pty Ltd indicated to the Mayor of Heidelberg Cr J.W.Andersen, where the company’s new factory is situated. The picture was taken from the roof garden above the kiosk at the rear of the Town Hall.

    The factory Mr. Thoridnet was indicating is pictured at the left. It is situated on the corner of Dougharty Rd, and Kylta Road, West Heidelberg.

    “We are delighted such development is coming to this City and we welcome it”n the Mayor Cr. J.W. Andersern said last Thursday commenting on the move by Renault Australia Limited to a site in Dougharty Rd West Heidelberg.

    “It will provide employment for people within Heidelberg, assist in the development and accelerate road construction in the area” he added.

    Renault have purchased the plant of Continental & General Distributors Pty Ltd and intend to spend several million dollars on the development of the site which will also become the company’s Australian headquarters.

    Cr. Andersen made these comments at an informal meeting at the Town Hall with Renault Australia’s Managing Director Mr. Jaques Thoridnet, and other officials of the company.

    Renault made it clear at the meeting that it was interested in the development of the Dougharty Rd area and that it was prepared to discuss with council any proposal to improve the area.

    “Our aim is to produce an Australian Car for Australian conditions Mr. Thoridnet told the Heidelburger after the meeting.

    He added that the company had given an undertaking to the Commonwealth Government to increase the Australian content of Renault and Peugeot cars to 45 per cent within a certain period in order to qualify for tarrif concessions.

    At present the content is nearly 40 per cent for Renault and 35 per cent for Peugeot.

    Until it purchased the plant in West Heidelberg, Renault Australia was a trading company. At present the output of cars at the factory is 10 a day and it is planned to increase this to 45 a day.

    Advertisement


    Renault – Australia is a subsidiary of French Renault Company which has an annual turnover of more than a billion dollars.

    The move to streamline Renault – Australia is part of a world wide alliance of Renault and Peugeot automobile manufacturing and marketing activities.

    At present the headquarters of Renault – Australia is in Sydney but is expected that headquarters will be established in West Heidelberg within the next few months.

    Already several key executives have arrived from Sydney.

    The site at West Heidelberg covers 12 acres and the buildings 70,000 square feet.
    Regards

    Ken
    Last edited by Kenfuego; 28th May 2012 at 09:07 PM. Reason: amend date of article to 1996!! (thanks JM)

  2. #2
    1000+ Posts J-man's Avatar
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    What a great read thanks Ken
    cheers,

    John

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    Fellow Frogger! MIKEEE's Avatar
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    Nice

    Thanks Ken!

    Fruit images shown are illustrative of flavour only and are not ingredients of the product.

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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    Established about one year before I bought my new R10 from PJ Regan Motors! Wasn't I lucky!
    Memory bringabackerer, Ken!
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    1000+ Posts J-man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    Established about one year before I bought my new R10 from PJ Regan Motors! Wasn't I lucky!
    Memory bringabackerer, Ken!
    Luck by name, lucky by nature
    I think having worked in the Renault factory would have been the ultimate for a true Renault nut. I would have loved to have been involved with 10's and 12's etc being made
    I'm sure it wouldn't have been all joy though in reality, actually working there. I'm guessing not fantastic working conditions ?
    cheers,

    John

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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    Certainly wasn't all beer and skittles! Very much different to where I worked for I.H. previously. At Heidelberg, the slaves worked in the factory, separate from the management...as an enthusiast, however, I felt comfortable making cars for my mates to buy!
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    1000+ Posts driven's Avatar
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    Default Renault Heidelberg Working Conditions

    Hi Guys,
    I actually worked there for a while
    Working conditions were interesting, especially the french pastries the canteen turned out for every morning break.

    The rusty Renault 12s they made. Each time a lunch break was had the car cooked inside the baking oven.
    This burnt the plastic sound deadener creating Hydrochloric acid plus steel = rust

    The Ford Cortina Station Wagons they made. Lead allowance about 3kgs per car. Door gaps were shocking.
    Lead allowance R12 100g.

    The 504 with missing bolts, driven off the production line enthusiastically wheels engine etc one way, body and driver straight ahead.

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    Fellow Frogger! Jensen's Avatar
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    Is the original factory still there or was it knocked down and a new one built? If it is the original building still it might be a cool place for a photo shoot one night.
    2002 Monaco Blue Renaultsport Clio 172
    1975 R1317 Renault 17 Gordini

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jensen View Post
    Is the original factory still there or was it knocked down and a new one built? If it is the original building still it might be a cool place for a photo shoot one night.
    I have driven past there a few times and the front is defenitely a new building, but I think from about 200m down Kylta Road it is still the old factory with the saw tooth roof profile.

    It has been repainted but there are some spots where there are some spots of yellow paint showing through (behind a few fallen signs etc) that may still be the original Renault factory paint.

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    Thanks Ken, I remember the era well. As I was, at that time, the After Sales Manager for the WA Renault Distributors. I first visited the West Heidelberg factory in October 1967, on my way back home to Perth after attending the 1967 Hardie Ferodo 500 at Bathurst. I drove there, Perth to Bathurst return, in a Renault 8 , when the Nullabor was still a dirt road.

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