Renault and Caterham Hook Up To Develop Sports Cars


  • Renault and Caterham Group Front 3/4

    Renault and Caterham Group Front 3/4

    Renault and Caterham will form a joint venture to develop sports cars. | November 05, 2012

Just the Facts:
  • Renault and Caterham will form a joint venture to develop sports cars that will be marketed under the Alpine brand, which Renault is reviving.
  • The two companies said on Monday that the plan is to launch one model each in the next three to four years.
  • The sports cars will be built at Renault's plant in Dieppe, France.

PARIS — Renault and Caterham will form a joint venture to develop sports cars that will be marketed under the Alpine brand, which Renault is reviving.

The two companies said on Monday that the plan is to launch one model each in the next three to four years.

In a joint statement, Renault and Caterham said they will pursue "a common project: to design, develop and build future sports cars. This agreement reflects a similar passion and expertise in sports and competition cars."

The sports cars will be built at Renault's plant in Dieppe, France. The two companies noted that the Dieppe plant is the "historical home of the Alpine brand which gave birth to such legendary models as the Berlinette."

"Our ambitions of reviving Alpine depended on our ability to find a partner in order to ensure the economic profitability of such an adventure," said Carlos Tavares, Renault chief operating officer in a statement. "Today, through our partnership with Caterham Group, we can enter a new phase: the design of a car that will embody the very essence of Alpine, a vehicle that will rekindle sport passion once more. It could become a reality within the next three or four years."

Caterham will own a 50 percent stake in the Automobiles Alpine Renault Company.

Caterham said it has a better chance to develop cars in partnership with Renault than it did with Lotus.

"Formula 1 was always our entry point into the car business," said Dato Kamarudin Meranun, Caterham Group deputy chairman in a statement. "Our original plans to develop a partnership with Lotus were put aside in spectacular and well-documented style, but now we have a far better chance to develop Caterham Cars in partnership with Renault."

Alpine, while not a household name in the U.S., is something of an automotive cult car.

Alpine was founded in 1955 by Jean Redele, a pilot and entrepreneur. Alpine's manufacturing and racing effort started with the A106 coach based on the platform and engine of the Renault 4 CV. During its existence, Alpine sold 30,000 sports cars.

Edmunds says: No word yet on what the products of this joint venture will look like or cost, but the fruits of the partnership will be interesting, for sure.

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