PARIS -- Alpine is now a niche brand within Renault Group, with just one model, the low-volume A110 sports car. But new CEO Luca de Meo has ambitions for Alpine to become the backbone of Renault’s sportier models as well as the hub of its racing teams.
De Meo has loosely compared Alpine to Ferrari, which has in the past used production models to finance a racing team.
“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 an expansive interview with Automotive News Europe.
De Meo has already given Alpine autonomy in his new structure for the group, which focuses on brands instead of regions, and put it under the temporary oversight of Renault Sport racing boss Cyril Abiteboul. He will also rebrand Renault’s Formula One team as Alpine, and plans to enter the Le Mans endurance race with an Alpine team.
De Meo said future performance versions and trim levels for Renault models could be given the Alpine name, similar to Abarth at Fiat. De Meo is a former CEO of the Fiat brand, and was instrumental in the launch of the 500 minicar, which has had a number of Abarth-branded high-performance versions.