When Renault had rolled out its Alpine A110-50 a few weeks ago, the logical conclusion was that this was not just to celebrate the 50th birthday of Alpine. Today, Renault COO Carlos Tavares tells Bloomberg that Renault is thinking about bringing back Alpine as a brand for sports cars, and to create another high-end brand for luxury models in a bid to become a true global carmaker.
Renault can use a boost. Its five-month European deliveries dropped 19.7 percent in the EU, while the market dropped 7.7 percent. Cross-town rival PSA lost 15 percent in the period. Both French brands are disproportionately exposed to the cratering southern parts of Europe, both are much less equipped to make it up with exports as the Germans do. Says Tavares:
“We may have one day a luxury brand. That would help from a profitability standpoint because everybody’s always looking at VW and what Audi represents for the VW group.”
As for Alpine, Renault is talking to potential partners to help revive the brand and share in the development costs, Tavares said. Renault has an alliance with Nissan, and a smaller one with Daimler.