Jean-François Moussillac, head of the engineering and quality department, explains what is Standard Exchange. The aim is offering customers a more economical solution to buying new ones, and with similar quality to the original components. It's possible to restore old powertrain components – engines, injection pumps, gearboxes, turbochargers – to (almost) as good as new.
Since 1949, when Renault acquired the Choisy-le-Roi plant (France), it has specialised in reconditioning used powertrain components. The results are now at a degree of excellence never reached before. The second-hand components handled at the site now emerge with a quality level similar to that of new components. Reconditioned components are given a one-year warranty, and their prices are 30% to 40% lower than those of components leaving the assembly lines at production plants. In addition, the Choisy-le-Roi site supplies nine European countries through the Aftersales Department, and has a direct connection with 800 dealer outlets in France.
The main purpose of the Standard Exchange policy is to provide you a better satisfaction, offering more competitive value for the same quality. For a better understanding of what inspired the teams to develop this approach, we need to examine the current state of the market.
Nowadays vehicles are increasingly reliable and the competition is fiercer than ever. The vehicles on the road are growing older and the prices of second-hand cars are falling. So we had to find an alternative to original components that was more closely related to the age and real value of vehicles – especially when the legal warranty has expired.
Jean-François Moussillac, Head of the engineering and quality department
Another advantage of Standard Exchange is that it makes it possible to respond faster to customers' needs when their vehicle is off the road because of a problem with the engine or gearbox. Every day, starting at 6 a.m., the Choisy plant receives a list of the components to be given priority, and these are handled and dispatched within 48 hours.
Nonetheless, handling the reconditioning of these components cannot be left to chance. The procedure begins with the "old" components which are returned to the plants by the dealer network. Once they arrive at the site, they are carefully taken apart and cleaned. Then they are sorted, labelled and checked to ensure that their functional specifications still comply with those of Standard Exchange.
If the part cannot be reconditioned, it will be recycled at one of Renault's foundries or through conventional recycling channels. Finally, the Choisy-le-Roi quality stamp of approval requires all the components to be tested at the end of the procedure. These tests mean that vital information can be recorded to ensure the components are fully traceable – which is a guarantee of quality for customers. To sum up, a Standard Exchange purchase allows customers to keep driving their car at a competitive price, and with quality levels and warranties equivalent to those of a new component, while also helping protect the environment.
Thanks to this virtuous circle, which economises over 500 tons of equipment every year, the plant was awarded the French Environment Ministry's Circular Economy Prize in 2014.