VW Group CEO tells Autocar he is a fan of Alfa, but would only make a move if Fiat wished to sell
1 October 2010

Volkswagen Group CEO Martin Winterkorn has told Autocar at the Paris motor show that his company would be interested in buying Alfa Romeo should Fiat wish to sell.

“Alfa is a very emotional brand,” he said. “If Fiat considers selling, we’d be interested.”

Winterkorn pointed out that Alfa once sold 300,000 units per year; now, it is around 110,000. With VW’s expertise, Winterkorn said, Alfa could return to its former glories.

See pics of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta from the Paris show and more on the twin-clutch model

“It’s a beautiful brand but there are quality issues with the engines and suspension systems for example,” he said.

“I’m quite sure we could make a beautiful brand out of Alfa again.”

However, Winterkorn made a point of stating there was no plan of an approach to Fiat for Alfa and the firm would only consider making an offer should Fiat wish to sell.

Steve Cropley

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65

30 September 2010

NO. NONONONONONONONONONONONO. NO.

NO.

 

Please insert paragraps where needed.

30 September 2010

Dream on.

Isnt Seat supposed to be the Spanish Alfa? Yet VW dont know what to do with it. Seat should be making the cars to compete with Alfa.

Secondly, even Winterkorn recognises that Alfa is an emotional brand, and yet does anything in the VW empire (perhaps with the exception of lamborghini) have any emotion? So what makes him think VW could do anything with the brand.

I would love to see Alfa great again, but just cant imagine a VW Alfa being any good.

But instead of buying up brands why not just launch cars that compete. Why dont VW have a small rear drive platform from which a C class/ 3 series rival could be made, not to mention the sports cars they would then be able to make. If they wanted to give that some Latin flair maybe it could become there Alfa.

30 September 2010

[quote artill]But instead of buying up brands why not just launch cars that compete. [/quote]

+1000

According to Autonews site and the reporter Luca Cifferi

http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100930/ANE/309299941 ,

concerning SEAT, Piech put permanently to rest speculation that the group would sacrifice it

"Seat would be to Alfa Romeo what Skoda is to Volkswagen," Piech said,

meaning all those rumours spread over supposedly closing SEAT are proved to be nothing more than irrelevant speculations.

Ferdinand Piech added according to Autonews site and the Italian reporter Luca Cifferi :

"We are patient and have time ... you won't hear anything in the next two years," he said when asked about repeated market speculation that VW is interested in Alfa.

"Alfa is the one brand with the biggest potential for improvement,"

and even made fun of himself a bit, correcting comments he made last September that a "dozen was easier to remember than (the current) 10" when it came to the number of brands controlled by Volkswagen. "Thirteen is my lucky number," Piech joked with a broad smile spreading across his face.

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne responded:

"Let them wait," "If someone comes with 1 billion euros ($1.4 billion)... But I am joking, I have no intention at all of selling Alfa"

30 September 2010

[quote artill]Secondly, even Winterkorn recognises that Alfa is an emotional brand, and yet does anything in the VW empire (perhaps with the exception of lamborghini) have any emotion? So what makes him think VW could do anything with the brand.[/quote]

How about adding some additional ability to the emotion?

Lets face it. Alfas don't exactly have a surplus of ability do they. The Giulietta while a good car, still can't match the Golf as an all rounder, a car that has essentially been out for over 5 years.

It's worked with Lamborghini so I don't see why it couldn't with Alfa.

30 September 2010

[quote artill]Isnt Seat supposed to be the Spanish Alfa? Yet VW dont know what to do with it. Seat should be making the cars to compete with Alfa.[/quote] Alfa always missed its sales targets and remained a promise only, so Morchionne is getting understandibly impatient. What I've heard that this is Alfa's last chance within the Fiat group. And yes, in that case Seat will be closed, it's the only loss making part of the VW group. And you know what? I think Alfa would be way better of at VW. The currenty Alfa line-up is miserable. Typical examples are the MiTo and the Brera. Everyone likes them yet no one wants to be seen one...

30 September 2010

[quote artill]Isnt Seat supposed to be the Spanish Alfa? Yet VW dont know what to do with it. Seat should be making the cars to compete with Alfa.[/quote]

That was my initial reaction, too. Disappointingly, Seat seems to have completely lost its way....

30 September 2010

no one wants to be seen in one, utter cobblers, i am on my 7th a Giulietta and its superb.

my dealer meet their sales target for September in August! VW stay away please

30 September 2010

[quote optimal_909]And yes, in that case Seat will be closed, it's the only loss making part of the VW group[/quote] Piech already excluded the case of closing SEAT,

this was only a speculation coming from irrelevant people outside the VW group.

Also a single year's losses, i.e. SEAT's last year negative result, could not be a good reason for dropping the whole brand for once (after all several brands have their ups and downs) and another issue is that SEAT is NOT the only loss making part of the VW Group (add Bentley etc).

In 2008 and at least as far as I know in 2007 too, SEAT had profits, so the business could easily turn around again and keep going, since the 2009 losses were mainly due to the record drop of sales in their mainland market Spain (because of the crisis).

Add the fact that SEAT in the last decade sells cars in numbers at least three or four times bigger as much as Alfa does (that said SEAT 330.000-520.000, next to Alfa's 100.000-190.000), and that according to estimations Alfa makes losses for the Fiat group lots of times bigger next to SEAT's worst ever results (say 200-400 million euros losses for Alfa, next to some hundred million euros for SEAT's worst ever last year).

Note also that Alfa in 25 years under Fiat ownership never posted profits, unlike SEAT and you 'll see how charming would a possible move to take over Alfa would be for the VW investors and shareholders in Germany.

The temptation to buy Alfa should also become even more risky after Alfa's latest controversial products - such as the Mito and the Giulietta - already underperforming in sales numbers, at least when compared to Fiat group's expectations...

30 September 2010

What the hell would they do with Alfa? Far too close to SEAT and Audi IMO, no way could VAG market all three of those brands.

30 September 2010

@alfa bob Meeting targets within a few monts of the launch is not a big feat. I could also have said that current Alfas age quite fast. [quote garage three]

te also that Alfa in 25 years under Fiat ownership never posted profits, unlike SEAT and you 'll see how charming would a possible move to take over Alfa would be for the VW investors a nd share holders in Germany.

The temptation to buy Alfa should also become even more risky after Alfa's latest controversial products - such as the Mito and the Giulietta - already underperforming in sales numbers, at least when compared to Fiat group's expectations...

[/quote] These are strong arguments, but I think all the efforts at Seat must have been paid off way better if the brand would have had higher value - even though Alfa did not perform well, I suspect that average selling price is much higher at Alfa. And Exeo is surely a sign that things do not go as well they should at Seat. Piech surely does not have the intention hamper Seat's efforts of revival by talking about a closure, but at least it might not make much sense to keep it running if they would get Alfa.

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