PARIS – Reviving the Alpine brand would add flair to the Renault brand, analysts say.
Created in the 1950s, Alpine was a nearly mythical brand for car enthusiasts for nearly half a century.
Reviving Alpine is a good idea, says Patrick Chiron of Paris-based consultant Eurostaf. Renault lacks a premium brand.
Alpine was founded by Jean Redele, a Renault dealer who built a sporty vehicle using a Renault 4CV chassis and engine.
The plant he built in the port of Dieppe, in northwestern France, still produces sporty versions of Renault cars such as the Clio small-segment model.
Renault bought Alpine in the late 1970s. It won prestigious races such as the World Rally Championship in 1973 and the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1978.
Renault stopped producing cars with the Alpine name in 1995, as part of an effort to cut costs.
In 2004, Renault bought from PSA/Peugeot-Citroen the right to use the Alpine brand name in some countries, notably the UK, which PSA had inherited when it purchased Chrysler Europe in 1978.