The Slovenia Times

Happy Birthday, Renault 4


 A caravan of Renault 4 cars made a stop in Novo mesto, the legendary model's last production site in 1992, on Tuesday before heading on to France for the car's 50th anniversary celebrations. Head of the Revoz car assembly plant Ales Bratoz took the opportunity to label the model one of the biggest successes in the history of car production.

According to Bratoz, the "Katrca" (Catherine), as the model was nicknamed in Slovenia, belongs among the top five car icons in history, with more than eight million cars sold in over 100 countries.

The chairman of the Slovenian subsidiary of Renault explained that Renault 4 production began in 1961 when Renault also set up its commercial network outside of France. It was Renault's first model available on markets abroad and had instantaneous success.

The Slovenian or Yugoslav story of "Katrca" began in 1969, when Renault signed a manufacturing deal with Ljubljana-based Litostroj to transfer it in 1972 to Novo mesto-based IMV, which later became Revoz.

IMV started producing Renault 4s for export in 1979, first mainly for France. Exports soon accounted for more than half of the around 30,000 cars produced annually, Bratoz elaborated.

In 19 years of production, 575,824 Renault 4s were built in Novo mesto, with the record only being broken this year. "The Twingo manged to do this, and only in three years and a half of production."

Bratoz moreover explained the special significance that Slovenia has for the "Katrca", since the very last ever R4 car produced was produced in Novo mesto.

The caravan received by Bratoz today comprises Renault 4 owners from Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia and is headed for Thenay, France, where the 50th birthday of the model will be honoured between 15 and 17 July.


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