Renault mulls Mercedes-based high-end sub brand and Alpine revival
Renault is considering introducing a high-end sub brand using a Mercedes-Benz platform, as well as a relaunch of its Alpine sports car line, a French newspaper said, citing Chief Operating Officer Carlos Tavares.
The upscale sub brand would be called Initial Paris, Les Echos said on Thursday.
The French automaker is considering organizing its sales around four lines, the paper said. Renault would be the general brand, Dacia would continue to sell low-cost models, while the Initial Paris and Alpine sub brands would cover growing demand for upscale and sporty models.
Renault is due to make a decision by the end of the year, the paper said, adding that Tavares had outlined the plans in a meeting with financial analysts.
The company would seek to work in partnership with other automakers to offset the heavy investments needed for the project.
Renault was not immediately available for comment.
In February, Tavares said Renault is in the early stages of developing an upscale car based on a Mercedes E class platform. "It is about using their platform and designing a Renault upper body to extend to it what I might call the French touch," Tavares told reporters.
Renault and Daimler are tentatively expanding the partnership they announced in 2010 to pool development and production of small cars and engines.
As part of the tie-up, Renault will produce a four-seat Smart car for Daimler in Novo Mesto, Slovenia. The new Smart will share a platform with the next-generation Renault Twingo minicar. Both models are scheduled to launch in 2013.
Media reports have said that Renault could cooperate with its partner Nissan or UK sports car maker Lotus for Alpine cars.
Reuters contributed to this story