New Renault CEO Luca de Meo is planning on turning Alpine from a one-model niche brand into something much larger as far as its reach, both internally and globally, is concerned.
“I would give Alpine a target of developing a line of products, maybe based on Renaults, with the target to break even and to pay for racing and all the activities within the Alpine world,” he said in a recent interview with Autonews Europe.
De Meo had previously said that future Renault performance versions and trim levels could end up using the Alpine name, similar to what Fiat does with Abarth. He also wants to boost profitability by selling cars with higher trim specifications, claiming that buyers want sports-oriented trims such as Peugeot’s GT Line.
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“My experience is that equipment levels that have a more dynamic, sporty look are more popular in the market, such as PSA’s GT Line. So I think we need to go in that direction,” he explained. “An Alpine line could be a way for us to ensure that we have 25, 30 percent of the mix on the higher equipment levels, where you make money.”
While discussing Renault Sport, he went on to praise their technical expertise, as well as the small factory in Dieppe that now builds the Alpine A110.
“It’s very flexible, very capable of doing craftsmanship and work similar to the M division at BMW or Neckarsulm at Audi or AMG,” he said, while acknowledging that Alpine remains a work in progress.
“I know that Alpine has potential, maybe not to compete with the German premium brands but it’s a business opportunity. You can argue that Alpine is a relatively unknown brand, but it certainly has the pedigree and the heritage.”