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Renault buys Caterham out of joint sports car project

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Renault has ended its joint venture with Caterham and bought out the stake the UK maker held in the Alpine sports car project.

Both manufacturers say that they still intend to launch new sports cars, and Renault says its Alpine is 90% complete and will appear in 2016.

Renault and Caterham Group signed an agreement in November 2012, the plan being to develop and manufacture sports cars through a joint venture, Société des Automobiles Alpine Caterham, owned 50/50 by the two partners.

That firm is now changing its name to Société des Automobiles Alpine, but Renault says that it could still cooperate with Caterham Group on future projects.

The two had each intended to launch their own badged car on a shared platform, Renault’s version reviving the iconic Alpine brand. The cars were to be built in a factory in Dieppe, France, which Renault retains following the latest developments.

Industry rumours suggest that design changes following mixed reactions to a concept prototype contributed to the delays on the new cars and also resulted in tensions between the UK and French design teams.

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.