Renault and Caterham drop sports car venture

PARIS, June 10 Tue Jun 10, 2014 5:01am EDT

PARIS, June 10 (Reuters) - Renault said on Tuesday it had scrapped plans to build a high-performance model for British specialist sports car brand Caterham.

Renault has bought out Caterham's stake in a joint venture announced in late 2012 and will pursue plans to launch its own Alpine model alone, the French automaker said in a statement, without disclosing financial terms.

The company had already briefed unions in March on the unwinding of the deal.

Tony Fernandes, the AirAsia founder who acquired Caterham in 2011 and controls the Formula One team of the same name, had promised additional Renault-built models to turn the British kit-car maker into a global premium player.

But the Caterham F1 team finished last in 2013 and has scored no points since it entered the sport as Lotus Racing three years earlier, prompting a warning from Fernandes that he may walk away unless things improve. (Reporting by Laurence Frost; Editing by James Regan)

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