First reported by French weekly newspaper Le Canard Enchaîné and later picked up by Autocar UK, Renault is penning the closure of four factories across France, including the Alpine factory in Dieppe, as a core part of its restructuring plans to reduce overhead by €2 billion.
The Dieppe plant was given a €36 million overhaul in 2017 in a bid to resurrect the Alpine brand. Previously the home of the last-generation Renault Clio R.S., the specialist factory employs approximately 150 people, according to Autocar.
Niche products such as the Alpine A110 are always the first to face the axe, as the cost of keeping the programme running is just too high for the limited-production model. The Alpine A110 troubles are compounded with falling demands, with only 61 units registered across Europe in February.
The coronavirus pandemic does not help Alpine’s case either. As factories and dealerships are forced to close, the financial strain further unsettled Renault’s already shaky financial footing since the dismissal and arrest of CEO Carlos Ghosn.
The newspaper further reports that five Renault models will cease to exist after its current lifecycle – the previously reported Megane hatchback, along with the Koleos, Talisman, Espace, and Scenic – the latter three not sold here.
Renault is due to announce the cost-cutting measure on 28 May. Let’s hope that the rumours remain as nothing more than just that – the world can use more of back-to-basics sports car like the A110.