Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne will not let Alfa Romeo die. He has unveiled the fourth relaunch plan for Alfa Romeo since he took over Fiat in June 2004. He plans to unveil the full plan in the first quarter of 2014.
"We continue to work in a pretty determined fashion trying to reshape the Alfa Romeo platform,” said Marchionne.
Alfa Romeo is in its worst state in decades. Sales will likely be below 100,000 units for the first time since 1969, and it has never made a profit since Marchionne took over. To rejuvenate the brand, Marchionne wants to make Alfa Romeo a premium brand that it is exported worldwide.
The vehicles would use a new, modular rear wheel and all-wheel drive platform being developed within Fiat by former Ferrari head of vehicle development Philippe Krieff. His goal is to create a platform that Alfa Romeo can use for future vehicles but can also be used by Chrysler and Dodge to generate sufficient economies of scale. Both sedans and crossovers will use it, and the first vehicles could be on the road as soon as late 2015.
"We will focus on Alfa Romeo and Maserati to access the higher end of what we consider to be a permanently polarized market," said Marchionne.
The problem is that it is getting increasingly hard to believe Marchionne’s pronouncements. He has already had three plans, and sales have only fallen further. Fiat is also trying to purchase the remaining stake in Chrysler, and it is unlikely that it has enough money to rejuvenate Alfa Romeo as well.
Source: Automotive News Europe