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?