The Renault -Caterham joint venture has officially been dissolved. It was a nice plan at first, but like a lot of nice plans, this one sputtered and died before anything great could come from it. The two sides decided on an amicable split two years after joining forces on what was initially planned as the rebirth of the Alpine brand. The companies were so dedicated at one point, they went so far as to co-found Société des Automobiles Alpine Caterham with the intention of launching a pair of similarly styled sports cars by 2016.
But somewhere along the way, the relationship between the two companies disintegrated. It even came to a point where disagreements on the development of the sports cars caused significant delays. So instead of soldiering on and squashing the tensions between the two sides, both companies chose to drop the project entirely and go their separate ways.
Renault has since acquired full ownership of Société des Automobiles Alpine Caterham and dropped "Caterham" from the official company name. Both companies are moving forward in building new sports cars but will do so independently.
A lot of people, including us, are understandably disappointed that the Renault-Caterham marriage didn’t work. It really had so much promise at the beginning. The thought of a shared sports car that incorporated the Renault Alpine A110-50 Concept had a lot of people in the industry at attention, wondering what these companies could create together.
Surprisingly, there are no hard feelings, as the two brands still plan to work together through "other forms of cooperation," but it doesn’t sound as exciting as building a sports car together.
Oh, well. So much for that.
Click past the jump to read more about Renault-Caterham’s joint venture.
Why It Matters
We all expected this collaboration to give birth to a world-beater sports car. For a while, it appeared that Renault and Caterham shared the same sentiments. But like every marriage, squabbles arose between the two sides and nothing could stop the eventual divorce.
So they decided to split up and move on. At least both companies are still pushing forward with building their respective sports cars.
Oh what could have been. When it was first launched at the 2012 Monaco Grand Prix, the Renault Alpine A110-50 Concept caused a lot of us to take notice that something really good was brewing in France. We got even more excited when Renault and Caterham announced a partnership that would bring parts of the concept to life.
The A110-50 Concept had all the makings of an all-conquering sports car. It looked the part of an aggressive hyper machine and had the performance credentials to back its menacing looks. With a 400-horsepower V-6 in tow, this car was ready to do some serious damage.
Unfortunately, the Renault-Caterham collaboration is now over, but you can bet your bottom dollar that Renault is still planning to release the Alpine in some form or another.
Gallery Renault Alpine A110-50 Concept
Following a mutual agreement between Renault and Caterham Group, Renault has increased its stake in Société des Automobiles Alpine Caterham to 100%, following acquisition of the interest held by Caterham Group. Renault will now continue to develop its own Alpine sports car to be launched in 2016, as initially planned. Caterham Group also plans to continue with its own sports car.
This acquisition brings to an end to the partnership signed in November 2012 by Renault and Caterham Group to develop and manufacture sports cars through a joint venture, Société des Automobiles Alpine Caterham, owned 50/50 by the two partners. Other forms of cooperation could still be envisaged between Renault and Caterham Group in line with each company’s strategic policy directions.
As a result, Société des Automobiles Alpine Caterham will change its name to Société des Automobiles Alpine. The change will be made as part of a general meeting to be held in June.