An industrial heritage constantly adapting to the new realities of the metropolitan area
A little history…
The Rouen metropolitan area has always hosted industrial activities. From the late 19th century onwards, local industry mainly involved textiles, driven among others by the cotton mills and port activities. Then, in the course of the next century, the automotive, steel, chemical and oil refining sectors gradually gained momentum.
Today, the Rouen Normandy metropolitan area is still primarily industrial in nature, backed by its ideal geographic location and extremely useful logistic support activities: in terms of employment, the logistics sector represents almost 1/4 of the region’s industrial jobs and nearly 1/3 of those in the construction industry. All of these activities are also backed by the 3 centres of excellence within the metropolitan area: Madrillet Technology Park , Rouen Health Innovation and Seine Innopolis .
Automotive, Agri-Food Processing and Pharmaceutical industries: the 3 pillars
The Metropolitan area is still highly involved in the automobile industry, with the Renault car factory in Cléon which manufactures engines and gearboxes, but also through specialized vehicles activities, like those of Carrier Transicold in Franqueville-Saint-Pierre. It should also be noted that the Metropolitan area is the location for the Mov’eo global competitive cluster of the automobile industry. Agri-food processing activities are also well represented, marked by the presence of long-standing names in the sector such as Ferrero, Segafredo, Nexira or Novandie but also others that are expanding into new markets, such as Nutriset (nutritional supplements) or Saipol (oilseed cakes).
Pharmaceuticals are also a front-ranking sector in state-of-the-art industries in the Metropolitan area with a Sanofi production site installed at Le Trait and a Sanofi Pasteur site in Val de Reuil, Aspen drug production at Notre Dame-de-Bondeville, the pharmaceutical retail company Astera which supplies nationwide from Rouen as well as Glaxo SmithKline, Ethypharm and the Janssen-Cilag laboratories.
Chemicals and energy still present
The chemical industry is as present as ever – with Lubrizol in Rouen, Borealis in Grand Quevilly or BASF Agri Production in Saint-Aubin-les-Elbeuf – as well as companies related to electrical and electronic construction – Autoliv Electronics in Saint-Etienne-du Rouvray, Legrand in Malaunay, Transformateurs SAS in Petit-Quevilly – or the mechanical engineering and metallurgical industries with Flexi-France (Technip) in Le Trait or Vallourec in Deville-les-Rouen.
If the energy is not the most developed industry in the metropolitan area, the region is however the site for the National Institute of Applied Sciences (INSA) at Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, and for the head office of Energies Haute-Normandie , which supports – among others – regional development projects for new energy in general, and offshore wind in particular.
The construction industry backed by major projects in the metropolitan area
Finally, the building and construction sectors are well represented in the metropolitan area with the presence of all major the stakeholders in the industry: Kaefer Wanner, Vinci, Bouygues, Sogea Nord-Ouest, Quille, Eiffage, etc. Despite the economic difficulties of the sector, the construction markets are still dynamic within the metropolitan area, backed by major development projects grouped within the “Rouen Seine City” scheme currently in progress (the Luciline-Rives de Seine eco-district, the La Ronce business park, the connection with the A151 motorway, etc.) or those to come (the Flaubert eco-district, southbound access to the 6th bridge over the river Seine, the future Saint-Sever train station, etc.).