Renault 4CV - Ready For Release

Ready For Release

In 1940, Louis Renault had, according to one source, directed his engineering team to "make him a car like the Germans'." Until the arrangement was simplified in 1954, the 4CV featured a 'dummy' grille comprising six thin horizontal chrome strips, intended to distract attention from the similarity of the car's overall architecture to that of the German Volkswagen, while recalling the modern designs of the fashionable front-engined passenger cars produced in Detroit during the earlier 1940s.

An important part of the 4CV's success was due to the new methodologies used in its manufacture, pioneered by Pierre Bézier. Bézier had begun his 42-year tenure at Renault as a tool setter, moving up to tool designer and then becoming head of the Tool Design Office. As Director of Production Engineering in 1949, he designed the transfer lines (or transfer machines) producing most of the mechanical parts for the 4CV. The transfer machines were high-performance work tools designed to machine engine blocks. While imprisoned during World War II, Bézier developed and improved on the automatic machine principle, introduced before the war by General Motors (GM). The new transfer station with multiple workstations and electromagnetic heads (antecedents to robots), enabled different operations on a single part to be consecutively performed by transferring the part from one station to another.

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