Speculation has been mounting about the future of Alpine and the A110, amidst news of parent company Renault reacting to mounting financial struggles, caused by the current global pandemic and the controversy surrounding former Alliance chairman Carlos Ghosn.
As part of a wide-reaching €3 billion cost-saving plan over the next four years, the Alpine A110 and its Dieppe manufacturing facility have been under threat of closing, but a source within Renault tells us the Alpine A110 will see out its full seven-year production run, ceasing in 2024. The likelihood of a second generation A110 remains slim though, with the Dieppe facility tipped for conversion for alternative projects after 2024.
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Recently instituted Renault boss Luca de Meo (formerly of SEAT) is known for favouring a strategy of creating premium sub-brands though, as the man behind the expansion of both Cupra and before that Abarth. This could see the Alpine name live on in a more profitable form than the A110, which despite a glowing reception is not a huge generator of revenue, due to its limited scope and modest sales. Luca de Meo will also be the one to make the call on Renault’s future involvement in Formula 1.
Renault’s cost-cutting plan will come at the expense of other parts of the business though, with production being reduced from 4 million to 3.4 million units across the portfolio by 2024. This does have personnel ramifications, with 4600 posts in France to be retrained, restructured or made redundant over the next three years, and another 10,000 job losses likely internationally.
This plan is also heavily reliant on the reaffirmation of its alliance with Nissan and Mitsubishi, streamlining development and part sharing across the group, reducing component diversity and increasing buying power with key suppliers.
From a product perspective, Renault will renew its focus on its electric vehicle and light commercial vehicle portfolios, two strong markets for the brand. This leaves Renault Sport at risk of falling silent, with the new Clio very unlikely to gain an RS version and a next generation Megane unlikely to be replaced at all.