Having enjoyed a great partnership with Caterham in Formula 1, Renault is now taking its relationship with the British brand to the next level by giving them a piece of their car making business. Caterham will be responsible for making Renault’s new generation of sports cars under the Alpine brand.
That almost certainly means Renault is putting a version of the Alpine A110-50 into production. And with Caterham’s expertise in chassis and handling behind it, the car is guaranteed to be a stunner. That doesn’t mean it is just a contract work for Caterham. It is actually a much larger operation than that.
Caterham will be given a 50% stake in the Automobiles Alpine Renault company, forming the Alpine Caterham company, making sports cars for both brands. It will probably be a joint operation in which Renault provides the engine and the design, while Caterham takes care of what makes the car go round corners — stuff like chassis and suspension.
Alpine-Caterham cars will be built at the Alpine plant in Dieppe, Normandy, in France.
Said Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of Renault:
“This innovative partnership with Caterham embodies a longstanding ambition: the creation of a sports car with the Alpine DNA. It carries both opportunities for the Dieppe plant and the development of its historic know-how.”
Said Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, Caterham Group Chairman:
“I have not felt as excited about a new venture since I launched AirAsia in 2001 and I want to thank Carlos Ghosn and Carlos Tavares and everyone in our new Renault family for having the belief in Caterham Group to create this partnership. Many people doubted us 11 years ago when we launched our airline and I am sure that there will be doubters again this time, but we will not fail your trust. We know the markets we are going into and, particularly in my playground in Asia, there is a huge opportunity to replicate the AirAsia model and give consumers access to exciting, affordable products that marry our interests in F1 and technology and help make their dreams come true.”
Said Carlos Tavares – COO Renault: “Our ambitions of reviving Alpine depended on our ability to find a partner in order to ensure the economic profitability of such an adventure. Right from the start, we wanted to place the Dieppe plant at the heart of the project. Today, through our partnership with Caterham Group, we can enter a new phase: the design of a vehicle that will embody the very essence of Alpine, a vehicle that will rekindle sporting passion once more. It could become a reality within the next three or four years.”
Said Dato Kamarudin Meranun, Caterham Group Deputy Chairman
“Formula 1 was always our entry point into the car business. 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, working with Caterham Technology who are also integrally involved in this new venture. Our F1 team has already been working successfully with Renault Sport F1 since the start of the 2011 F1 season and I am thrilled that now we are adding to our track partnership by joining forces with Renault on the road. Together with Renault we have now created an opportunity for Caterham Cars to grow into the next stage of its development from a very well respected niche brand into a serious player on the global motoring map. “