The niche Alpine brand is going mainstream.
Renault’s new CEO, Luca de Meo, says he will draw on his experience at Seat and Cupra to create the link
“As I did with Cupra, I will find a point of contact between the Alpine brand and some Renault models,” Mr de Meo told Auto Express.
“We need to be credible on that, so I’m not going to do that with Kangoo or Espace – I’m going to do that with things that fit the positioning of the brand.”
Doubts about the Alpine brand’s future were swirling earlier this year, after Renault set out to slash costs on the back of large losses and slow sales caused by COVID-19.
Renault has since confirmed there’s a place for Alpine in its stable. Mr de Meo told Autocar the mid-engined A110 range will grow, perhaps to include the higher-riding SportsX model recently patented.
“The first thing I want to do is organise its life-cycle management, à la the Porsche 911, so we will have different versions. And maybe turn the car electric if we manage to solve the business case, maybe find a partner for it,” he said.
Not only will the A110 live on, the fast-improving Renault Formula 1 team will be rebranded as Alpine in 2021.
Cyril Abiteboul, current Renault F1 team boss, will lead the revitalised Alpine road-car brand, and has been given the target of breaking even within four years.
The link between racing and the road-car operation is something Renault will push hard.
Luca de Meo plans to make Formula 1 a focal point for Alpine, telling Autocar he wants to make it a “mini Ferrari, putting Formula 1 at the centre of a business ecosystem and creating a brand which has motorsport, engineering, production and distribution”.