Renault boss has big plans for Alpine as brand continues overhaul


A few years ago, Renault attempted to bring back the iconic Alpine brand with the A110. The car wasn't exactly a best-seller but it won a lot of hearts and the problem is Renault has been struggling to figure out a way to keep the brand going what with emission rules and profitability issues.

Renault recently appointed a new CEO, Luca de Meo, as part of their 2020 restructuring plan and de Meo, who's previously worked with Abarth and Seat, wants to turn Alpine from a one-model company into a larger company with a comprehensive line-up of vehicles. "I would give Alpine a target of developing a line of products, maybe based on Renaults," de Meo said. "The target is to break even and to pay for racing and all the activities within the Alpine world."

He also said he wants to create higher specification options for the A110 because that would help profitability, which is a key point and a major headache for most car companies these days. "My experience is that equipment levels that have a more dynamic, sporty look are more popular in the market, such as Peugeot's GT Line. So I think we need to go in that direction," he added. "An Alpine could be a way for us to ensure that we have 30 percent of the mix in the higher equipment levels, [which is] where you make money." As you can see, he's quite open about it and I kinda respect that.

Alpine is still a work in progress but De Meo says the brand has huge potential. He believes that while it probably doesn't have what it takes (yet) to compete with equivalent German premium brands, there's a certainly a lot of room for improvement.

Ideally, we'd love for Alpine to carry on building simple, lightweight sportscars and nothing else but in the real world, that's not possible. So the question is, what should they do next?

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Comments (15)

  • Road legal GT4 variant to give Porsche a run for their money.

      1 month ago
  • Difficult one, the main issue around profitability is that they can’t sell enough of them as the competition is too good (Cayman) and the amount of money you need to spend on the Alpine makes you wince knowing that it’s a collection of Renault parts.

    Adding more premium equipment will make it heavy and then need more power and whilst that’s what others do its opposite the core of what Alpine is. There is discussion of an SUV but this will just be a rebranded Renault/Nissan and there is also discussion of electric which is opposite to the brand ethos.

    The problem with Alpine is the brand doesn’t hold enough value so reinventing a ‘one trick pony’ is never going to work. Alpine will be another casualty of the pandemic as ultimately it’s too expensive for what it is.

      1 month ago
  • I think the logical step would be to take over from Renault Sport and engineer those cars. I have been a Renault Sport fan since the 90's. but a trophy r Alpine sounds pretty cool. They should stick to the 110 as well, as it is a success and dynamically excellent it seems. Competing against Porsche sounds a little scary, but with the Alpine/Renault philosophy of lightness and feel, there is room for an alternative.

    I mean Gordon Murray has one as his daily driver. Nuff said.

      1 month ago
    • I think that's what I had read some months back... that in some way, what today is Renault Sport would become Alpine. So Alpine being Renault's "performance brand". Which would also fall in line with the rebranding of their F1 team.

        1 month ago
  • Let's just hope he doesn't save the brand as he saved Alfa, FIAT, Abarth and Lancia.

      1 month ago
  • They've got the halo car. Now they need the cash cow. The best-selling vehicle in the Renault lineup is probably the Dacia Duster. So take that as the base for an Alpine SUV and make it both lighter and more luxurious. I can't abide SUVs, but the best-selling Porsche is the Macan and it's what enables them to keep on selling the sports cars.

      1 month ago