Formerly Renault Trucks, the French company Arquus specialising in military vehicles has transformed its activities in Saint-Nazaire, in the Atlantic France region. The production site is now in charge of renovating army trucks. 400 employees work there.
This is a major industrial shift for Arquus. Owned by the Swedish group Volvo, the company that supplies and repairs 80% of the French Army’s vehicles will benefit from a €7 million investment program over three years to overhaul and extend its site in Saint-Nazaire.
300 military vehicles renovated each year
Arquus’s factory in Saint-Nazaire will soon no longer manufacture military vehicles, but will exclusively focus on maintenance. 300 military vehicles from the French Army are renovated each year there, according to the radio France Bleu.
For now, this site still produces a thousand VT4s per year, which is a sort of giant 4X4, with the latest equipment such as an electric drive-system. 2,900 of these vehicles have already been delivered to the Army. Nearly 1,200 will also be produced by 2022. But the contract will end in 2023, after which Saint-Nazaire’s site will be entirely dedicated to renovation.
Therefore, Saint-Nazaire is taking over most of the maintenance activities from the Arquus factories in Limoges (87), Garchizy (58) and Marolles-en-Hurepoix (91).
55 employees hired this year
The maintenance activity is growing due to several factors, according to the newspaper Ouest France: the outsourcing of the maintenance activities by the armed forces, the continuation of the Barkhane operation and the extension of some vehicles’ lifetimes.
Arquus is growing every year, with a turnover of around €600 million last year. In Saint-Nazaire, the site grew from 130 employees in 2017 to 250 in 2018 and has grown to 410 today. However, the ratio of temporary workers remains high (70% of the staff), a tendency that Arquus aims to reverse by hiring 55 permanent staff this year.