Renault Group

Renault Austral, 75 times around the world to ensure its quality!

6 April 2023
Industry & quality

Following Megane E-Tech electric in 2020, Austral is the second Renault model to have been subject to the Confirmation Runs. It has thus covered nearly 3 million kilometres on all types of roads, and that’s even before its commercial launch. Behind the wheel, around a hundred of employees put themselves in the shoes of the customers while testing the car. Their objective: identify any possible improvements to ensure that Austral reaches the best performance in terms of driving pleasure, quality, and reliability.

BY Renault Group

Led by Thierry Charvet, Renault Group Industrial and Quality Director, the company’s Quality strategic plan is one of Renaulution's main pillars. At the heart of the Quality plan, the reliability of new models under development was the object of much consideration, leding to profound changes being made to road tests carried out before all commercial launches. A new type of test was developed: the Confirmation Runs.

Thierry Charvey

We developed a complementary approach to road tests carried out at Renault Group’s Aubevoye Technical Centre, near Paris, where we have the necessary tracks and equipment. These tests are run using a small fleet of pre-series vehicles and entrusted to expert test pilots. Now, we are bolstering the test process. The Confirmation Runs are a way for us to put ourselves in the shoes of our customers, with the ultimate goal of ensuring them peace of mind. We equip over a hundred Renault Group employees with a fleet of 160 vehicles, to run extensive tests on all road types in several countries. It helped us identify and implement about 350 improvements before Renault Austral could reach our dealerships and our customers.

Thierry Charvet
Chief Industry & Quality Officer, Renault Group

Confirmation runs: a new and effective process

By the end of the Confirmation runs, Renault Austral had been tested on a total of almost 3 million kilometres – 2.8 million to be precise – on all types of roads in France, Spain, Germany, and Romania. Urban roads, motorways, major roads, across plains and up mountains, and under all weather conditions. The more than 100 Renault employees taking part in the tests reported any aspect that could be improved on the vehicle via an app installed on their smartphone. This app helped engineers and brand experts collect and analyse data in almost real-time. By completing such extensive mileage during the Confirmation Runs, Renault was able to identify any potential problems with Austral long before they could arise with customers, thereby ensuring greater quality, reliability, and durability throughout the vehicle’s life span.

renault austral
The Confirmation Runs conducted for Austral were carried out by more than 100 Renault employees, covering almost 3 million kilometres

Following Megane E-Tech electric in 2020 and now Austral, all future models will benefit from Confirmation Runs and the expertise of people like Alvaro Rodriguez Sastre, Renault Group employee in Spain, tester, and Renault racing driver.

“I travel between 1,000 km and 1,500 km every week, depending on the period,” Alvaro says. “One of the routes we often use for our tests, such as with the Confirmation Runs, is between Madrid and Valladolid, through Navacerrada, Segovia, and Sepulveda. The route is extremely varied and enables us to assess every aspect of the car being tested: how it handles, its acceleration capacity, comfort level, and acoustics. I am happy if I know that our customers enjoy driving Austral.”

The numerous tests endured before its release by Renault Austral, including the Confirmation Runs, have ensured impeccable quality