Renault will turn its Alpine performance brand into a brand dedicated to electric vehicles, the automaker said on Thursday.
Like the members of the Renault Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance, Renault is in the in the middle of a major restructuring. The restructuring is being overseen by the new CEO, Luca de Meo, and part of it will be an Alpine reboot.
Alpine was revived a few years ago with the A110 launch, a light mid-engined sports car. It is Alpine’s only offering and its production amounts to less than 5,000 units per year.
Under the new plan, Alpine will leverage the platforms of the Renault Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance, potentially including the new modular CMF-EV platform that will debut later this year at the Nissan Ariya Electric SUV. The plan will also see Alpine jointly develop an electric sports car with Lotus, which will also headed down the EV route.
Alpine A110 production in Dieppe, France
The move towards electric vehicles will allow Alpine to attract customers in China, where Renault plans to stop selling vehicles equipped with internal combustion engines. Unfortunately, it’s not likely to help in the event of a US launch, so don’t expect to see Alpine’s presentation here anytime soon.
As part of the restart, Alpine will also focus on motorsports, specifically Formula One, although there will also be a presence in the World Endurance Championship and possibly Formula E at some point. The Renault F1 team has already been renamed Alpine for the 2021 season, and has signed double F1 world champion Fernando Alonso as a driver.
If all goes according to plan, Alpine is expected to be profitable in 2025.
The new CEO of Renault could be the right person for the job. Previously, he was in charge of the Spanish Volkswagen Group brand, SEAT, where he successfully converted the Cupra performance sub-brand into an independent brand that plans to offer electric vehicles. Maybe I can repeat that success with Alpine.