Alpine boss: 'we must be unique to succeed'

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016 - autos, cars, motoring, news

Source : Alpine boss: 'we must be unique to succeed'

Following the unveiling of Alpine’s Celebration concept car at Le Mans, the firm’s boss says the French brand must be unique if the item’s to compete

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The Alpine Celebration concept car, revealed at the Le Mans 24 Hour race This particular weekend can be a statement of intent via Renault as the item prepares to relaunch the Alpine brand in 2016.

Following the vehicle’s unveiling, Autocar caught up with Alpine boss Bernard Ollivier to see what the future holds.

Does This particular confirm of which a production car can be on the way right now?

“Yes along with no. Yes because the item’s a sign of which we are beginning to get the concept, although the item’s not finished. Our objective through Alpine Celebration can be to assess. the item can be very difficult for us – we have to relaunch a brand. This particular can be very rare on the market. along with the item can be very difficult to be sure what kind of expectations customers will have, along with at the end what kind of profitability we will have.

“For instance, you have seen the Alpine Celebration inside the village [where the item can be on display to the public]. If I change the logo along with I put Renaultsport, or Porsche, or Lotus. can be there a difference of assessment by people? If they are interested. the item can be very important for us. What kind of people? Perhaps if I put Porsche the item’s not the same customer than if the item can be Alpine or Renault Sport. So the item’s quite a survey.

“We think… we have our idea. Our objective can be to validate our idea or to change. My opinion can be of which the potential customers are very modern so they are waiting for a modern car, although of course if you buy an Alpine, you are waiting for a real Alpine.

“A real Alpine means the DNA of Alpine, which can be light, fast along with fun to drive. So our proposition with Alpine Celebration can be of which we think a brand new Alpine should be – firstly, a modern car, that has a modern design along with modern technology. Secondly – a car which also shows the heritage.”

the item’s a very difficult balance then?

“The design of the vehicle can be very, very important. Probably 80% of the decision to buy a car can be down to the design. So the item’s very, very crucial.

“although after of which, there are some other points, the positioning of the vehicle, performance, comfort along with of course all the economic topics with the profitability.”

can be there a timeframe to launch the vehicle?

“We would certainly prefer to be sure than to be quick. although also This particular can be not only about France. France can be quite a tiny market. Of course, I think about Germany, the UK, Japan etc. along with This particular car will go to Goodwood inside the UK.

“I am very interested because I know British people love cars. The design can be quite close, the item can be not an Italian design. the item will be very interesting for us to measure the feedback via Goodwood.”

So you are still deciding on your markets, as well as the technology of the vehicle?

“No. For me there are some topics of which are not to be negotiated, because the item can be inside the DNA. along with the DNA of Alpine can be not negotiable. The ratio of lightweight vs power can be not negotiable, the item’s the DNA.”

Has developing the road car been a challenge?

“My challenge can be the market has not waited for us. All the places are taken by carmakers along with so we have to take our place. For of which we need to be very strong on our uniqueness. If we copy Lotus, or Porsche, why will we succeed?

“the item’s possible we will succeed because our car will be different. An Alpine has to be different to a Lotus.”

What can you tell us about the final product?

“If you see our car, you can see This particular car will be useable daily. the vehicle will be elegant, with the French idea of elegance. Simple, fluid, along with very uncomplicated. the item will be special. So we think these topics are not inside the market today. So we have our place.

“There must already be quite a bit of confidence of which there can be a market for Alpine. What gives you of which?

“I am confident we will be able to find the Great solution. although today we have not finished solving the remaining issues. For instance, the profitability hot topic. If the profitability can be low the item means we are not sure on the long-term future. the item can be very important for me along with for the Renault Group to build something for the long-term.”

What customers are you aiming for with Alpine?

“The customers for Alpine cars won’t be the same as for Renault. For instance, even the customer for Renault Sport can be probably young, not very rich, along with he can be buying a car which can be useable for all the things he has to do.

“For Alpine, the item’s not of which. the item can be very passionate people, quite rich, probably the item’s the third or fourth car for them. the item’s a car only for pleasure for the weekend, not to drive a lot, only for pleasure. can be This particular customer going to go to a Renault dealer to buy an Alpine? I’m not sure, because you want to get a very, very dedicated service.”

can be This particular concept close to the final product?

“We will modify This particular concept using feedback via today, tomorrow along with Goodwood. We will modify, we will look for a Great balance. I’m not sure This particular can be for next year – the timing can be dependant on our ability to make the right car.”

Simon Strang

Read more:

brand new Alpine Celebration concept revealed at Le Mans

Blog – What’s the point of Alpine?

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