Times are about to change for Caterham as it plans model lineup expansion with a small crossover and a city car.
You may automatically picture Caterham cars as being those ever wonderful lightweight track toys that, if so desired, can be assembled as a kit car. But the UK automaker has been in the growth mindset of late, having recently signed a pact with Renault to co-develop a new Alpine sports car. As it turns out, the business partnership isn’t stopping with that one model. A new report is indicating Caterham plans to develop two more new models with Renault aimed squarely at the Asian market.
Thing is, neither one will be sports cars. Caterham wants to build a small crossover and a city car. Basically, Caterham watched how successful Land Rover was with its Range Rover Evoque as it realized that, given it was aligned with the right automaker, additional profits were possible. Those new Caterhams will be based on existing Renault platforms and, as Caterham owner Tony Fernandes correctly pointed out: "Sports cars will do well, but the city car and the SUV are what the (Asian) market really wants. If we get the SUV right it will be huge." Specifically, the company is targeting the Malaysian market for its expansion plans.
So there you have it. Caterham will become a global automaker that builds models other than sports and track day cars. The question is, however, whether there’ll be enough room for it in an already crowded Asian marketplace. We'll know soon enough as those cars, as well as the new sports car, should all be on the road sometime in 2016.