Renault creating first European factory dedicated to the circular economy of mobility

AJ Gonzalez | December 3, 2020

Green Car Congress, 

Groupe Renault is creating the REFACTORY in Flins, the first European circular economy site dedicated to mobility. By 2030, it will employ more than 3,000 people in dedicated professions. The implementation of this industrial and commercial ecosystem will take place gradually between 2021 and 2024, replacing the production of new vehicles.

It will be based on a wide network of partners from all sectors and will revolve around 4 poles of activity, putting into practice the principles of the circular economy at each stage of the vehicle life cycle and mobility.

The circular economy model implemented in Flins will be based on a set of complementary and convergent loops, aimed at encouraging the use of a vehicle instead of its ownership; extending its life through maintenance; and reusing it or reusing its components for other uses, when other solutions are no longer possible.

To support this approach, the ReFactory will also include an incubator, open to start-ups, academic partners, large groups, local authorities and intrapreneurship, as well as a training center, backed by a university center, to promote know-how and accelerate research in the circular economy.

The ReFactory aims to achieve a negative carbon balance by 2030—an objective in line with the Group’s ambition to achieve carbon neutrality in Europe by 2050.

Between 2021 and 2024, the REFACTORY will be gradually rolled out around four divisions of activity—Re-Trofit, Re-Energy, Re-Cycle and Re-Start—this will make it possible to support the entire life of the vehicle by acting on the main components of the circular economy (supply, eco-design, economy of functionality, maintenance, reuse, remanufacturing and recycling).


To ensure its competitiveness, this integrated circular economy ecosystem will rely on several assets at the Flins plant, which was originally built in 1952. The stamping, injection and sheet metal activities, but also the available surface area (237 hectares, 67 of which are currently built), the network of suppliers, accessibility via road connections, and above all the excellence of the industrial operational system (standardisation, manufacturing 4.0, ISO 14 001 and ISO 9 001 certifications, logistics hub, etc.) are all strategic levers for the implementation of the reconversion project.

The performance of the ReFactory will also relate to the ability to generate closed-loop supply flows with controlled costs (reuse, recycling for repair), and to develop new value-added skills (retrofitting, dismantling, fleet maintenance, preparation of batteries for the second life, etc.) based on the integration of the company’s areas of technical expertise (reconditioning of second-hand vehicles, remanufacturing, recycling, batteries).

The transformation plan will be deployed gradually in stages between 2021 and 2024, starting in 2021 with the establishment of the Factory VO, (Used Car Factory) the transfer of Choisy-Le Roi’s remanufacturing activities, and the integration of an incubator dedicated to start-ups, partners and intrapreneurship.

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