BARCELONA — Renault SA and affiliate Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. will invest US$230 million in Nissan's plant here to build a Nissan version of the Renault Trafic/Opel Vivaro light commercial vehicle (LCV).

Nissan's version, codename X83, will enter production in the second half of 2002, with sales following at Nissan dealerships in Europe. The company will build about 64,000 units of the LCV each year in Spain.

The vehicle will be available as a van, combi, bus and chassis cab and will differ from the Opel and Renault version in the front grill, indicators and seats. Left-hand drive versions, two wheelbases, two payload ratings and a high-roof version will be sourced from Spain.

Nissan and Renault started alterations in the Barcelona plant last month. A new dedicated bodyline and assembly line will be added. Following the modifications, capacity at the facility will be 180,000 units annually. Some 1,000 new jobs will be added, Renault says.

Renault, which owns 36.8% of Nissan, says it only will crossbadge the LCVs in order to maintain distinct Nissan and Renault vehicles.