Caterham boost Renault ties with sports car link-up 06 Nov 2012
The Caterham Group and French carmaker Renault have announced a new project to design and build sports cars. Renault already supply Caterhams Formula One team with engines and the new venture, set to be created in January 2013, will be called the Société des Automobiles Alpine Caterham.
Formula One was always our entry point into the car business," explained Caterham Group deputy chairman Dato Kamarudin Meranun. "Our original plans to develop a partnership with Lotus were put aside in spectacular and well-documented style, but now we have a far better chance to develop Caterham Cars in partnership with Renault, working with Caterham Technology who are also integrally involved in this new venture.
Our F1 team has already been working successfully with Renault Sport F1 since the start of the 2011 F1 season and I am thrilled that now we are adding to our track partnership by joining forces with Renault on the road. Together with Renault we have now created an opportunity for Caterham Cars to grow into the next stage of its development from a very well respected niche brand into a serious player on the global motoring map.
The Caterham Group will own a 50 per cent stake in the Automobiles Alpine Renault company, which is currently 100 per cent held by Renault SAS. The sports cars will be built at the Alpine plant in Dieppe, France.
This innovative partnership with Caterham embodies a longstanding ambition: the creation of a sports car with the Alpine DNA, said Carlos Ghosn, chairman and CEO of Renault. It carries both opportunities for the Dieppe plant and the development of its historic know-how.
Caterham Group chairman Tony Fernandes added: I have not felt as excited about a new venture since I launched AirAsia in 2001 and I want to thank Carlos Ghosn and (Renault COO) Carlos Tavares and everyone in our new Renault family for having the belief in Caterham Group to create this partnership.
Many people doubted us 11 years ago when we launched our airline and I am sure that there will be doubters again this time, but we will not fail your trust. We know the markets we are going into and, particularly in my playground in Asia, there is a huge opportunity to replicate the AirAsia model and give consumers access to exciting, affordable products that marry our interests in F1 and technology and help make their dreams come true.
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