Renault says new sports models carrying the Alpine name from the joint venture announced today (5 November) with Caterham Group, could leave the Dieppe production line within three to four years.

Precise details of the models are as yet unclear, but the French automaker said they would carry the “respective DNA” of Alpine and Caterham Cars.

“Our ambitions of reviving Alpine depended on our ability to find a partner in order to ensure the economic profitability of such an adventure,” said Renault chairman and CEO, Carlos Ghosn. “Right from the start, we wanted to place the Dieppe plant at the heart of the project.

“Today, through our partnership with Caterham Group, we can enter a new phase -the design of a vehicle that will embody the essence of Alpine, a vehicle that will rekindle sporting passion once more. It could become a reality within the next three or four years.”

The Caterham Group will own a 50% stake in the Automobiles Alpine Renault company, currently 100 % held by Renault SAS. The Société des Automobiles Alpine Caterham, which will result from this partnership, will be set up in January 2013.

The project, which Renault says ensures the Dieppe Plant has a “sustainable future,” was aided by “substantial support” from the French State and the Région Haute Normandie, which also involved the contribution of Dieppe Maritime.

It is not clear if this support was financial.

The Dieppe plant is the home of the Alpine brand and its core business is the assembly of sport vehicles, the assembly and sale of motorsports cars, and the sale of spare parts for motorsports vehicles, including at sports events.

With a workforce of more than 300 and a surface area of 76,000 m² of which 36,900 m² is built up, the plant has produced more than 400 000 vehicles since 1969.