So far confirmed only for the Argentine market, the Renault Alaskan medium pickup has been given a date for the start of production at the Santa Isabel unit (Argentina). The manufacturer announces that it will assemble the Nissan Frontier cousin from October 21, the same day that the complex will celebrate 65 years. So far, the brand has been talking about Alaskan’s launch in Brazil, without confirming or discarding its arrival.
The industrial launch will be the moment when Renault Alaskan will be made in series, instead of the units used for adjustments and calibration of the assembly line. And that already indicates that the launch will happen later this year, landing a few weeks later at the dealerships – mainly because this year’s launch will be only for Argentina.
Alaskan will share the production line with Nissan Frontier, as it is based on the Japanese pickup truck, using the same platform, engine and virtually all components. Apart from the front design, the changes are very specific, like different wheels, right behind the steering wheel and the santantonio, and other details.
It will be launched with the 2.3 turbodiesel engine, which also equips Frontier, always with a double cab. Behind the scenes it is said that it will have exactly the same offer as the Frontier, with a 160 hp single-turbo version and the other 190 hp biturbo, while the transmission options will be the 6-speed manual and 7-position automatic. The traction can be rear in the entry version and 4×4 with reduced in the others.
Although Alaskan has withdrawn from line in Europe, Renault has decided to launch the pickup truck in Argentina in a bid to take advantage of the segment’s strength in Latin America and especially in the Hermann country. With a much larger number of dealerships in Argentina than Nissan, Alaskan has more sales potential than the Japanese version, which registered 2,756 units in 2019. And Toyota Hilux shows the segment’s potential, with 25,128 units sold in 2019 and it is often one of the most successful models in the country.
Another reason is to increase Santa Isabel’s production. The complex was to produce Frontier, Alaskan and the Mercedes-Benz X-Class, another truck that uses the same platform, components and much of the engine. However, the German manufacturer gave up on the vehicle after poor performance on the global market and disagreements with the Renault-Nissan Alliance. The purpose of Class X has forced a review of plans for the complex and adding Alaskan helps to keep the complex functioning at an acceptable level.
Officially, Renault Argentina says that production in the country will serve other Latin American markets that are interested in Alaskan, without saying whether there is any preparation to export the truck soon. In Brazil, the manufacturer does not confirm or deny the arrival of Alaskan. In 2018, during the São Paulo Motor Show, the brand even showed a medium-sized pickup truck, without compromise, saying it was just to assess public acceptance. And we’ve already seen a unit in Brazil. If she comes, it will only happen in 2021.