Caterham has bought a 50% stake in the Renault-owned Automobiles Alpine Renault, which was originally the historic French Alpine manufacturer which was a giant of the rallying world in the 1970s and whose Dieppe Plant in Normandy has been more recently used as the base for the production of Renault Sport models. The new company will be known as The Société des Automobiles Alpine Caterham when it is launched in January.
Cool move by Fernandes. If Red Bull ever defect to Porsche he will be fighting Lotus for a works deal. Being in a joint venture with Goshn will help him big time.
when I read the new, the first question that came to my mine is if Fernandes can really pull this off, and the 2nd question is, Is he trying window dress his caterham group so that he can off load the entire company to recover his investment?
And from a strategic point of view. Renault already have Nissan partnership to produce brilliant affordable sports car and they are doing extremely well in that area. So what good will this bring for Renault and what can Renault realistically expect from a guy who have no prior experience in the automobile industry? And if you want to produce affordable sports car, why choose France and no make it in Malaysia?
If you look at what Fernandes has done over the past 3 years, most of this his project actually didnt turn out the way he promised, in fact, I think the are actually moving backward.
- Team Lotus (fall out with Proton, lost the Lotus name)
- Bought over QPR, still stuck at the bottom of league table without a win and destine to be relegated
- Purchase of Caterham - no new development other than shifting factory.
- Caterham F1, 3 years, with KERS, still couldnt challenge mid field and now about the lose that 10th place in WCC to Marussia
Not trying to pour cold water on what he is doing, but I think this guy is simply biting off more than he can chew. Honestly, what makes him think that with such a limited resources and no prior experience, he can run a successful football club, F1 racing team, producing 2 brands of sports cars, all within a span of 3 to 4 years?