CEO Sergio Marchionne presents two scenarios: an investment freeze or using Chrysler platforms
1 December 2009

The Alfa Romeo brand's future has been put under review by Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne.

With Alfa sales dropping and the brand losing money, Marchionne is weighing up how to refresh Alfa's line-up using Chrysler platforms.

"We need to work a lot harder on Alfa to make an intelligent decision that effectively preserves the highest possible value to Fiat," Marchionne told Automotive News Europe.

Marchionne also stressed the need to adopt - and stick to - a long-term strategy with Alfa, in order to turn it into a profitable company, citing the company's numerous reinventions in recent years.

"We need to stop doing it. You cannot be a newborn Christian every four years. It's the same religion, eventually you need to own a religion and carry it to conclusion," said Marchionne.

Outlining Alfa's options, Marchionne said Alfa could replace the 159 and 166 with saloons built in North America on Chrysler platforms, but unique to Alfa and sold by Alfa worldwide.

"Certainly the availability of D and E segment (platforms) in the United States which are capable of being Alfa Romeoized is there. We need to look at the economics of that opportunity," Marchionne said.

Alternatively, investment in the brand could be frozen following the launch of the 147 replacement, which is now expected to be called the Giulietta.

That would leave Alfa with the Giulietta and the Mito as its only fresh models, with the 159, Brera Coupe, Spider and GT coupe continuing to be sold.

Last year, Alfa sold 103,000 new cars compared with 203,000 in 2000. The brand has lost between 200 million (£182m) and 400 million euros (£364m) a year in the past 10 years, according to reports.

Marchionne - who also ruled out merging Alfa and Dodge - is expected to announce the future of Alfa in February or March next year.

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Comments
26

1 December 2009

Clarkson and others will be weeping in their beer. This could be the end of Alfa as anything other than a badge. A shame in one sense since this is a brand with real heritage and some beautiful designs. Sadly the non-build quality has killed this off in much the same way as Lancia. Putting a Alfa badge on a Chrysler platform is the ultimate insult.

1 December 2009

They are so short term, they need to create some new Alfas and then sell them down the line as Chrysler and Fiats, instead of doing this back business model back to front. VW have been succeeding at doing this for years.

1 December 2009

Yes - It's not going well!

We seem to have had the discussion about insulting an historic marque by putting it's badge on a Chrysler not so long ago regarding Lancia - not all on here will agree! I love at least the history of Lancia and Alfa - I just wish Fiat could get their act together, build and differentiate their products better. VW manage to differentiate between Audi/VW/Seat/Skoda without much bother. Surely if they made Alfa's rear wheel drive and sporty / Lancia's luxury front wheel drive with four wheel drive on the range toppers / Fiats the basic brand - and raise the bar with build quality - they would be most of the way to covering all of the German territory.

How hard can it be!

1 December 2009

[quote MartyB59]How hard can it be![/quote]

... well - when you have lost around 3 billion Euros in 10 years - I guess it is going to be ruddy difficult to recover from this mess !

1 December 2009

Chrysler platforms being "AlfaRomeoized"?? The idea is as ugly as the language!

1 December 2009

[quote crashbangwallop]A shame in one sense since this is a brand with real heritage and some beautiful designs. Sadly the non-build quality has killed this off in much the same way as Lancia.[/quote]

Alfa build quality has been much improved in recent years (along with every other brand in the Fiat group, for that matter). The problem is that they're not making exciting enough cars to wash away the memories of abysmal quality. I think they'd see a significant sales improvement by slapping RWD and some punchier engines on the existing range.

jer

1 December 2009

Agreed but why have'nt they done it?

1 December 2009

[quote crashbangwallop]A shame in one sense since this is a brand with real heritage and some beautiful designs.[/quote] This should read "........since this is a brand with real heritage and has had some beautiful designs." The current new cars, Mito and soon to be released Guilietta, are just plain awful to look at with those appalling front ends. They have improved the build qualty but they seriously need to revise the styling, that look was great on the 8C but the translation to other models just does not work.


Enjoying a Fabia VRs - affordable performance

1 December 2009

oh come on, Alfa's based on Chryslers!!! Why not just kill the brand now & have done with it!

Merchoinne isn't stupid its not hard to see why Alfa's sales have tumbled, the 147 is old, the 159/Spider/Brera trio just aren't good enough, & its takes too long for Alfa to introduce new cars. I love the brand, but the way its been handled is woeful. Having said that though i'm pretty sure Alfa could build a BMW beater & they still wouldn't sell, Alfa as a brand is a joke to everyone bar those who love the brand.

People left their 3 series etc for the 156, & that turned out to be a very expensive problem as it wasn't built as well as it should have been, & then come re-sale time they couldn't give the thing away, so people left ALfa in droves, & i wonder does Alfa appeal to anyone now who isn't an Alfa enthusiast, i seriously doubt it!

Alfa's just being rebaged Fiat's wasn't the answer, so rebadged Chryslers doesn't bare thinking about.....

1 December 2009

I've owned two alfas in the recent past, and ALMOST bought a third this week. The issue as has been pointed out is that the cars are not exciting enough... but also lack any real choice. Up until the launch of the 1750 there was a very poor choice in engines, yes the 3.2 was good, but you are gonna pay at the pumps / tax.

And I will leave my discussions on the dealer network to a different thread, all be it that the ones I used to deal with have both lost their franchise (which couldn't have come soon enough).

Alfa is a brand people want to buy and own, they just dont have the product and the service to enable that.

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