Renault and Vauxhall confirm van cooperation

French manufacturer Renault and GM-owned Vauxhall will continue their 14 year-old partnership for the launch of the next generation Vauxhall Vivaro and Renault Trafic vans, the manufacturers have confirmed.

The move follows the release of the Renault Master and Vauxhall Movano vans, which were developed together by the two manufacturers before being marketed and sold separately.

The smaller Vivaro and Trafic vans will be developed together, but so far neither manufacturer has released price or specification information.

In the UK, the large light commercial vehicle market is dominated by Ford. The Southampton-built Ford Transit is the biggest seller, and Ford is planning both a next generation model and an all-electric version of the smaller Transit Connect within the next three years.

Currently Vauxhall and Renault sell around 1,500 vans a month in the UK, nearly 1,000 less than Ford. However, sales of Vauxhall and Renault vans have been steadily improving in the wake of the new Master and Movano.

Vauxhall is the fifth biggest-selling LCV manufacturer in August 2010, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, while Renault remains the sixth best-selling marque.

The two manufacturers first cooperated in 1996 with the development of the first generation Renault Master and Vauxhall Movano vans.

This has continued with subsequent versions, although each manufacturer markets and sells the vans independently through their own dealer network.