The Slovenia Times

Novo Mesto marks 50 years since assembling its first Renault 4

An exhibition on the 50th anniversary of the start of production of Renault 4 by the former car manufacturer IMV in Novo Mesto. Photo: Rasto Božič/STA

An exhibition at the museum collection of the former car manufacturer IMV marks 50 years since the first Renault 4 rolled off the production line in Novo Mesto. Together with its successor Revoz, IMV put out nearly 576,000 Quatrelles between 1973 and to 1992.

Running until March 2025, the exhibition pays tribute to the rich technical heritage of the regional centre of southeastern Slovenia and promotes the collection of vehicles manufactured by IMV and its successors.

The exhibition was mounted by the Dolenjska Museum in cooperation with the Novo Mesto municipality and Revoz, the Renault-owned car assembly plant that currently puts out the Renault Clio 5 and the Renault Twingo.

The first Quatrelle was produced in France in 1961 as Renault's response to the successful Citroen 2CV. It went on to become a universal people's car with 8.14 million units produced in 31 years.

The best selling model of Renault ever was distinguished from other small cars produced by the French car maker by front-wheel drive, and was characterised by its practicality, affordable price and durability.

An exhibition on the 50th anniversary of the start of production of Renault 4 in Novo Mesto. Photo: Rasto Božič/STA

The first Renault 4 or Katrca was assembled in Novo Mesto in February 1973. Two years later, a wheel rim production line was launched and IMV also installed the equipment for assembling car bodies and won a contract to produce and assemble the chassis.

In 1976, they opened a mechanical processing plant and produced an average of 23 bodies a day. IMV also produced the first fuel tanks for the Renault 4, and the production was expanded with the new R-4 Special model.

In 1978, a new automatic production line was opened for the model that was exported to the French market starting from 1979.

That year, the R-4 GTL model started to be produced exclusively for the French market, and later on also for other markets. More than 100,000 bodies for the Renault 4 were produced by 1979.

The milestone of 400,000 bodies produced was reached in 1988, and the last Quatrelle to be produced in Novo Mesto rolled off the assembly line on 22 December 1992 as the car no longer met the safety and environmental standards.

At Renault's initiative, IMV also put out a rally version of the Renault 4 to further promote the model in Yugoslavia. The first racing Quatrelle was assembled in France and the remaining six in Novo Mesto. The cars competed in the rallies for the Yugoslav National Championship, in the Group A class up to 1100 cc.

The IMV Museum Collection. Photo: Rasto Božič/STA

The IMV Museum Collection showcases the history of the automobile and trailer industry in the Dolenjska region. It features restored personal and delivery cars, trailers and camper vans, technical documentation and models as well as advertising material.


More from Society