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Dieppe

Roots

In the late 1960s, the founder of Alpine understood that the berlinette’s commercial success would require him to draw the curtain on the workshop on Avenue Pasteur in Dieppe, where he and his employees came to work every day. The cramped space could not be expanded, his neighbouring Renault dealership was filled with a backlog of body shells, and the ill-equipped space made for difficult working conditions. The only choice left was to move.

Roots
Renaissance

Renaissance

The founder of Alpine first sought out land near Arques-la-bataille and Envermeu, villages home to some of his most loyal workers. In the end, he chose a 20,000-sqm plot in Dieppe proper to establish a new, more modern production site. The factory produced the A110 berlinette as well as the A310, which was already in the works at the time. Other generations of production and competition models would follow, such as the A610 and the GTA, up until 1995. In subsequent years, the factory produced the Clio and Mégane Renault Sport, as well as cars exclusively for motorsport, such as the Formule Renault, Clio Cup and Mégane Trophy. The new plant was officially opened on 15 December 2017 to manufacture the new Alpine A110.

Berliverte

The last-ever berlinette to roll off the line at the Avenue de Bréauté factory in 1977 was a 1600 SX. The green model was ordered by an Alpine engineer, Jean-Pierre Limondin, who still has the car and has cleverly renamed it the “berliverte” (“verte” means “green” in French). Meanwhile, the new A310 is entering the final review phase and the prototypes are being combed over to ensure optimal reliability.

Berliverte

Revamped plant
The “new Alpine A110” is produced in Dieppe by a team of 400 employees in an entirely revamped factory. Over €35 million were invested in upgrades and 151 people were hired to meet Alpine’s rigorous quality standards. The Dieppe plant boasts industrial machinery unique in Europe which assembles the Alpine A110’s fully aluminium body and chassis. From the Alpine employee training school to the Premium Finishing workshop, quality remains a top priority in the Alpine A110 production process.

Excellence

The first 1,955 Première Edition series models sold in a matter of days. The plant quickly ramped up production to about 20 units per day. Some 5,000 cars rolled off the line in 18 months, while only 7,579 models of the old A110 were produced in 15 years – a testament to Alpine’s excellence in productivity.

Excellence

While a French president has yet to enter the gates of Avenue de Bréauté, other figures of all stripes have paid a visit. All the CEOs of Renault, as one would expect. But also personalities from the world of sport, such as Jean-Claude Killy, triple gold medallist in skiing at the 1968 Olympics in Grenoble, who travelled to Dieppe to claim

the berlinette presented to him by Renault to celebrate his triumph. The most famous racing drivers have also stopped by, such as five-time World Champion Juan-Manuel Fangio, who test-drove a berlinette in the Dieppe countryside and said that he “regretted not being able to spend more time behind the wheel of the prototype”.

Finally, in 2008, a monument honouring Jean Rédélé was erected on Cours Bourbon, a road bordering the plant. The plant and the monument have become a pilgrimage site for enthusiasts from France and further afield, who come to take photos there with their past and present-day Alpines.