Luca de Meo: French brand Alpine to be mini Ferrari?

With the rebranding of the Renault F1 Team to Alpine F1 set for the 2021 season, new Renault boss Luca de Meo aims to take the Alpine brand to new heights. He went as far as calling it a “mini Ferrari,” a brand so effortlessly buoyed by its rich motorsports heritage and global branding success.

De Meo said Alpine will be an integral part of the Renault group’s strategy in the future, with plans to make more cars – some all-electric ones as well – that are both “thrilling and emotional.” The poster child A110 (seen above) will also get additional variants to further expand its appeal.

With that, de Meo said if one were to take the Renault group’s F1 team, the Renault Sport engineering unit, a plant in Dieppe, and combine it with a brand like Alpine which “has some cachet and heritage which you can’t buy,” there is the possibility to create a “mini Ferrari.”

“In a company with strong financial issues [like Renault], the temptation is to say let’s stop this, let’s stop that. But what I saw was the possibility to bring these things together and create – if you’ll allow me the poetic licence – a mini Ferrari, putting Formula 1 at the centre of a business ecosystem and creating a brand which has motorsport, engineering, production and distribution,” he explained.

The Italian also believes that the A110 has a future. “The first thing I want to do is organise its life-cycle management, à la the Porsche 911, so we will have different versions. And maybe turn the car electric if we manage to solve the business case, maybe find a partner for it,” he said.

“I will probably find a way, as I did with Cupra, to have contact between Alpine and Renault but we need to be credible with that. Alpine is a great way to project ourselves into the future – one of the missions is to make the electric car experience emotional and thrilling. This is basically the direction. For sure, Alpine has a future. It’s not going to be easy but we have very strong ingredients,” de Meo added.

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