Fiat group reportedly plans to merge the three brands to keep Alfa alive
22 January 2010

Fiat SpA plans to merge Alfa Romeo, Abarth and Maserati under one sporty sub brand, according to reports.

Abarth and Maserati CEO Harald Wester has today been appointed by Fiat as CEO of Alfa Romeo and Auto News claims company sources have said Wester’s new role will be to identify synergies between the three brands.

Wester, who is also chief technology officer for the Fiat group, will play a key role in shaping Alfa Romeo’s future.

Fiat is currently undergoing a strategic review of Alfa and will publish the results in April when Fiat announces its group plans from the next five years.

One option for Alfa could be to share platforms with Chrysler and have its 166 replacement built in the US.

The other option is for investment to freeze on developing new models once the Giulietta is launched, leaving Alfa with only the Giulietta and Mito to keep the brand alive into the latter part of the decade. Its older exiting models, including the Brera, GT and Spider, would continue to be sold but won’t be replaced.

At the Detroit motor show, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne told Autocar that several options were still available for Alfa.

“Alfa has been underperforming for a long time,” he said. “It has been the most difficult part of Fiat’s recovery, even though on paper it looks so attractive. The marque isn’t for sale, or anything like that.

“It’s our problem. But we do have to rethink our objectives and be realistic with ourselves before we do anything else.

“First, I want to see how well we do launching the Giulietta. From the technical point of view it’s a huge step forward, but I want to see how it fares. And I want to see how we can take advantage of that through the company.”

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15

22 January 2010

I think Marchionne should go. He has messed about with the Alfa brand for so long and created a revolving door for CEO's of the mentioned three brands. He seems inconsistent and more interested in Chrysler and in turn diluting FIAT's other brands. A lot of top people have gone to the likes of VW, which is now doing very well. Sergio you have outlasted your welcome.

22 January 2010

Looks as if FIAT have contracted GM disease. Too many mouths to feed.
So how many brands does FIAT have now?
FIAT, Abarth editions, ALFA, Maserati, Ferrari, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge.
GM had 8 brands and look what happened there.
FIAT and Lower end dodge could form synergies. I can see ALFA and Chrysler sharing the premium segment but appealing to two different kinds of customer. Abarth is just tuning and really only relates to FIAT with a limited run of vehicles. There is a saving to made putting the Abarth name to bed for a little while. Only FIAT know it the sport-line makes a profit. Which leaves Maserati sort of on it's own. Should Maserati and High end Dodge be combined? Would the Viper look good as a FourPort? Ala Quattroporte in American guise? One thing is for sure it would be the end of the world as we know it if Ferrari ended up getting diluted.

However I think we are safe. If Italians think that the best way to cook pasta is how they have done it for generations in their village and that the village 15km up the road do it completely wrong. Then Ferrari will remain sacred.

Bloody good job too.

22 January 2010

I think Alfa's problems far pre-date Marchionne, and he has inherited a mess. Merging the business operations of Alfa, Maserati and Abarth seems sensible, and potentially provides a full range of models without over-stretching the brand - as BMW have done successfully with Mini underneath the BMW brand and Rolls-Royce above it.

The biggest problem for Alfa appears to be finding the funding to do what everyone would dearly love - a proper sporting RWD platform to replace the 159/Brera and 166. Maybe sharing with Maserati can provide this.

22 January 2010

Isn´t Alfa all about beautiful and really good handling cars? Why is that so hard to make? They don´t need to be really roomy, they don´t need to be a technological leader like a Benz or a BMW, they should be reliable, and have a great engine and gearbox, but why can´t Fiat just do that with Alfa?

22 January 2010

[quote VelSatis23]

Isn´t Alfa all about beautiful and really good handling cars? Why is that so hard to make? They don´t need to be really roomy, they don´t need to be a technological leader like a Benz or a BMW, they should be reliable, and have a great engine and gearbox, but why can´t Fiat just do that with Alfa?

[/quote]

That's where Alfa would like to be, the ingredients are there, but the cooks (Management) keep c*cking it up.

Alfa need to get direction and stick to it, there have been too many CEOs passing through.

I have an Alfa, I love it and want to continue to drive Alfas in the future, please invest in the company/brand.

22 January 2010

Here is what should be done in my educated opinion.

Get the Guilietta out and make a Sprint coupe to replace the GT. Get on with the Mito Cabriolet already and then we are in 2011. 4x4 Guilietta based SUV in 2012. Also in 2012, phase out of all non multiair engines to keep the miserable EU at bay.

RWD chrysler chassis (cut down and spiced up 300C chassis depending on liscence agreements with Benz) to underpin new 159/169, also spawning replacement for Brera and Spider by 2013.

To be accomodated in the larger vehicles above, develope a new V6 based on a lower tech and multiair tuned ferrari cali V8 (like citroen and maserati did in the 70s) to create a great alfa V6 meeting standards for emissions and durability which can also be put in chrysler vehicles in USA in different tunes.

2014, proper GTA versions og everything please.

Alfa customers like cars and style, not anying electro tech, so if the products are right it cant fail.

Competance executes, character inspires

22 January 2010

Well... No sub-brand, but from today Alfa, Maserati and Abarth share the same CEO, Harald J. Wester. Here the italian news: http://www.agi.it/rubriche/ultime-notizie-page/201001220928-eco-rom0026-...

22 January 2010

I think you've hit the nail on the head man. The problem is that almost every car manufacturer is currently having an identity crisis. FIAT wants Alfa to be BMW. FIAT itself seemingly wants to be FORD. They want Lancia to be Audi and they want Maserati to be Aston Martin. It's nonsense.

FIAT have surely spent hundreds of millions trying to 'become German' and in doing so ruined some of their potentially great cars. The Stilo for example was not exactly Italian in spirit (apart from a propensity to house electrical poltergeists) and the 159 (although stunning - is famously too heavy) are two perfect examples. You can't achieve German kudos or perceived quality through heft or more angles in the design. You don't have to copy a german car's size, shape or interior style to exude quality. It shouldn't need to LOOK like a German, or weigh in like a German. Can it not look and feel like an Italian and be built like an Audi? Lamborghini managed it - with Audi's help of course. Or vice versa, so it's not impossible. I mean, look at Jaguar! It's so very British, but still GOOD!

FIAT doesn't seem to see any value in its sub brands in their present form and doesn't see the logic in producing cars like the ones that sold under the Alfa brand in the 60's. The mentality seems to be that 'no one buys cars like that anymore.' Yeah... that's because no one builds them like that anymore! That's why the forthcoming Giulietta (which looks rather nice) is based on the Bravo platform and is restricted to being a car of a similar size and shape as the FIAT. But at the same time as it's being shown for the first time the CEO is moaning and bleating about the 'brands future' due to its performance. We are continually hearing that Lancia and Alfa Romeo are not performing. This is no different to GM's stance on SAAB. It is the men in the suits that are ruining the brands and then bad mouthing them when the public doesn't buy something they signed off. Then they moan about it as if the cars designed and marketed themselves.

I think all any Alfa needs to be to satisfy the fans of the brand is and create for themselves a USP in the marketplace is: light, agile, responsive, sporty, fun and beautiful. Engines that sing and gearboxes that read your mind. For the die hards rear wheel drive would be nice. But that's all! Maybe add Japanese or German reliability if that's not too much to ask to the mix without losing the rest (Although I wonder if that still holds true these days, my 2002 Alfa 156 is as good as anything else I've owned). But most if not all of the underlined above can be applied to any modern Mazda, with the exception of perhaps the beautiful - but thats subjective!

I mostly mention FIAT here... but I think it's also very true of so many other brands. Almost all of them. Peugeot for example. What is a Peugeot now? A French Audi? They wish! They all want to be one of their rivals and they are all slowly becoming the same flavour. It's so boring. Why are they working so hard to kill off variety?

22 January 2010

[quote adam2853]

Get the Guilietta out and make a Sprint coupe to replace the GT. Get on with the Mito Cabriolet already and then we are in 2011. 4x4 Guilietta based SUV in 2012. Also in 2012, phase out of all non multiair engines to keep the miserable EU at bay.

RWD chrysler chassis (cut down and spiced up 300C chassis depending on liscence agreements with Benz) to underpin new 159/169, also spawning replacement for Brera and Spider by 2013.

To be accomodated in the larger vehicles above, develope a new V6 based on a lower tech and multiair tuned ferrari cali V8

[/quote]

This is my opinion:

Alfa has sold best when its D-segment car (155, 156) was based on the same platform as C-cars (Tipo, 146); the real misery has come with the bloated "premium" platforms (166-kappa-thesis, 159-brera-spider).

Therefore:

Bring on the Giulietta. Derive from that a 4- or 5-door sedan/coupe to be called the Giulia, a sportwagon, and a c+c (rather than separate coupé and cabrio versions). This would allow to axe the 159-Brera-Spider (which are terrible) as well as the ageing GT.

If the C-EVO platform of the Giulietta (basically the Bravo/Delta with rear multilink) is good enough to underpin D-segment cars and Jeep SUV's in the USA as per plan, then there's no further question to be asked.

As for the premium segment, the jaguar F may be a better platform spender than the 300C, if they decide to be in the segment, which is anything but a strict necessity.

Engine-wise, the Alfa Romeo-isation of the Chrysler Pentastar/Phoenix engine is already planned.

22 January 2010

[quote giulivo]the C-EVO platform of the Giulietta (basically the Bravo/Delta with rear multilink)[/quote] This is not true. The C-Evo platform is 95% different from the Bravo/Delta's one (source: Fiat press release). And the new platform has been specifically engineered to fit even a D segment and 4WD. The Bravo doesn't.

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