The Renault Traffic has been produced by Renault, a French auto manufacturer, since the year 1981. It is a light commercial van. The Traffic is marketed as the Opel/Vauxhall Vivaro and the Nissan Primastar throughout Europe. Past versions of the Traffic were sold by Chevrolet and the first generation is currently sold by Tata Motors in India. It has been confirmed by Opel that they are going to be producing the next generation of the vehicle in 2013 at the GM manufacturing plant located in Luton.
The first generation of the Renault Traffic was sold from the year 1980 through 2000. During its lifetime it was revised and updated several times. The original van had some front end shape variation where the engine was fitted with an original 1397 motor behind the flat grille. The larger 1647 cc petrol engine and the diesel engines required a deeper bumper and a plastic grille that was extended. In the middle of the 1980s the 1721 cc OHC engine replaced the previous 1647 cc engine. The newer engine would fit under the grille, but a small lump in the bonnet was needed.
In the year 1990, the vehicle had a major facelift to the front end with a plastic bumper being used and a rounder shape for the front. The body shape was longer and covered all of the varieties of engines that were available. The final facelift for the MK1 version was received in the year 1995. The facelift included new tail lights, a new grille, larger rear view mirrors, as well as a newer interior that had a modern dashboard and seats that were adjustable. From 1997 on this version was sold under the name Opel Arena.
The cab and the chassis for the 1980s model were later sold in complete knockdown kits that were used for the Winnebago. The Winnebago LeSharo was built from 1983 on. In order for the cab and the chassis to meet the emission requirements and safety regulations, this version was sold using the J6T/J7t, which was badged as being a 2.2 liter.
The MK1 version gained in popularity because it could be professionally converted into a budget friendly family motorhome because the design was flexible. The Holdsworth and the Auto-sleepers were the popular converters.
The second generation to the Traffic was designed in the corporate design office of Renault located just outside of Paris. It was developed by a team of engineers and then manufactured through GM manufacturing at their plant located in Luton.
An agreement was made between Nissan and Renault that allowed versions of the van to be manufactured in Barcelona, Spain at the Nissan plant located there. The high roof versions of the van are made in Barcelona because the Luton facility has a lower roof that cannot accommodate for the extra height.
There are several versions of the van available from the 3 seat option with all of the back space used for loads to a nine seat option sold as a passenger vehicle.
In 2006, the Traffic received a mild facelift that removed the orange indicators and swapped them out for clear colored ones. The indicators were moved from the front bumper to the headlight housings on the Opel model.
The 3rd generation of the Traffic was released in 2014. It is being sold by Opel from Europe. The production of the latest model has been centralized to a factory in France for Nissan and Renault. The Opel version for the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe are still being manufactured at the Luton plant.