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Friday, October 22, 2021

Alpine looking at a global expansion, return to Australia possible – report

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Renault Group subsidiary Alpine is considering expanding its global footprint after it forms a solid European base first.

In a report by Reuters, Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi said it wasn’t under current consideration but didn’t rule out an eventual presence in Asia and the Americas.

This could mean that the French manufacturer may make a return to the Australian market, if not any time soon.

A spokesperson from Ateco, Renault’s Australian distributor, said that when the new models are revealed in full, the product planning team will then assess if they will be brought to the Australian market.

The Alpine brand is being discontinued locally because its only model, the A110 sport car, doesn’t comply with the ADR 85 side-impact regulations coming into effect on November 1, 2021.

The company has confirmed it’s going to produce three new electric models, due from 2024 onwards.

One of these new models is an electric replacement to the current A110 sports car, which will be built in partnership with Lotus using its E-Sport platform.

It’ll also produce an electric hot hatch that’s likely to be based on the upcoming Renault 5 revival, using the company’s CMF-BEV electric platform.

The third model will be a mid-sized electric crossover that’s likely to share its CMF-EV platform with the Nissan Ariya SUV.

It’ll feature dual-motor all-wheel drive with torque vectoring. A more sedate Renault-badged version will launch in 2023, though it’ll only be two-wheel drive.

The brand wants to be very careful with any global expansion as the Renault Group has left the US market twice in the past.

“We would probably err on the side of caution because you can’t really mess up a third time,” said Rossi.

“And the Alpine brand is in a rebirth so we have a lot of things to accomplish first, to establish it as a solid, graduated brand in Europe.”

MORE: Alpine lays out its electric future
MORE: Alpine A110 axed after ADR changes

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