Currently reading: Fiat future hinges on Alfa and Maserati relaunch
Italian firm faces sink or swim scenario as it seeks to prop up struggling Italian car industry with relaunches for Alfa and Maserati
News
2 mins read
10 February 2014

Fiat's finalised merger with Chrysler means it now faces a "moment of truth", says a senior Italian trade union leader.

The secretary general of the Metal Workers’ Union in Turin, Frederico Bellono, told the Financial Times that Fiat “is on the brink. If the premium strategy works, then that’s great, but if not Turin could end up like Detroit”.

Bellono was referring to Fiat’s plans to expand into the profitable global premium sector by relaunching Alfa Romeo and Maserati and, in doing so, underpinning Italy’s crumbling automotive sector. 

Last year Fiat made 400,000 cars in Italy, a total far exceeded by Nissan’s Sunderland facility in the UK.

John Elkan, chairman of the newly established Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) group, was quoted as saying the Alfa relaunch was at “an advanced stage” and “the time to relaunch Alfa has come”. He also emphasised that Italy would be at the centre of the manufacturing investment. 

Last week, FCA boss Sergio Marchionne said the sales performance of Maserati showed that his premium market push was working, claiming that the brand was now generating “higher margins” than Ferrari.

Marchionne has twice cancelled plans for a family of all-new Alfa models but is poised to unveil the definitive launch plans at the end of April.

A new rear-drive and all-wheel drive platform for Alfa is being developed under the name Giorgio, according to Automotive News Europe. The platform is geared towards creating economies of scale for Fiat, and will also be used by the Chrysler and Dodge brands.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Find an Autocar review

Join the debate

Comments
24
Add a comment…
Matt92672USA 19 March 2014

Send this one to the USA Please

If they build this, and make it available in the USA, it will pull sales from 5the Audi A4 and BMW 3-4 series. This is a beautiful car. Add to it a nicely balanced turbo 4 or even an "s" or "m" series competitor with the Ferrari sourced turbo 6, and Alfa will start selling cars again. Alfa's used to synonymous with passion for driving, but of late, sans 8c and brera prodrive, have been anonomous(read Dacia). The Italians have the ability to re-install passion to their designs. This is a winner.

viva Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili... for sure

johnspan 11 February 2014

hope dies last

I do not know if you have noticed that a new platform is BEING developed... what the hell they have been doing in the last 5-10 years since 156/9??? the design of the car in the picture is indeed good, although to me it seems that - normal for italian pre production mentality - it would be impractical to compete face to face (it looks quite cramped) since today the average buyer does not accept deficincies in the favour of any good looks - hard core alfistis aside, but how many are left? If the company wants to SURVIVE they MUST introduce 2-3 new models within this year or early next, but this seems highly unlikely. With cars for enthousiasts no commercial brand can survive and FIAT (or whatever is now called) they lack competitve models in all significant segments except small city cars... and this might be a pity but it is the truth
Ali_ 10 February 2014

I drove a Polo for two weeks

I drove a Polo for two weeks on holiday in Spain. I can't actually remember anything about it bar that it was black. I had an ageing Grande Punto Evo in Italy last year and that was miles more enjoyable...and black. The MiTo doesn't need to be bumped off yet, just turned back into the Punto it really is. That lacklustre GM chassis should never have been allowed to represent Alfa in the first place.
C2_Matt 11 February 2014

Ali_ wrote:I drove a Polo for

Ali_ wrote:

I drove a Polo for two weeks on holiday in Spain. I can't actually remember anything about it bar that it was black. I had an ageing Grande Punto Evo in Italy last year and that was miles more enjoyable...and black. The MiTo doesn't need to be bumped off yet, just turned back into the Punto it really is. That lacklustre GM chassis should never have been allowed to represent Alfa in the first place.

It might be aging but I can't think of a sensibly priced car which has (design-wise) that's aged better, it looks as fresh now as it did in 2005.

Ali_ 11 February 2014

C2_Matt wrote: It might be

C2_Matt wrote:

It might be aging but I can't think of a sensibly priced car which has (design-wise) that's aged better, it looks as fresh now as it did in 2005.

Which makes it still a decent enough base for the Punto, but not for an Alfa. The 8C inspired styling sits on the Corsa derived proportions very poorly IMO. Great from the back and sides but the front is far too high and chubby. It makes the face that looked elegant on the 8C look like a hamster with mumps on the MiTo! MiTo was meant to be a return to the days of the Alfasud but the one thing the Sud had in spades, amazing, class defining handling, was completely missing. Make it a Fiat again and let Alfa begin with the Giulietta.

Smilerforce 11 February 2014

Ali_ wrote:C2_Matt wrote: It

Ali_ wrote:
C2_Matt wrote:

It might be aging but I can't think of a sensibly priced car which has (design-wise) that's aged better, it looks as fresh now as it did in 2005.

Which makes it still a decent enough base for the Punto, but not for an Alfa. The 8C inspired styling sits on the Corsa derived proportions very poorly IMO. Great from the back and sides but the front is far too high and chubby. It makes the face that looked elegant on the 8C look like a hamster with mumps on the MiTo! MiTo was meant to be a return to the days of the Alfasud but the one thing the Sud had in spades, amazing, class defining handling, was completely missing. Make it a Fiat again and let Alfa begin with the Giulietta.

It's always the case with Alfa. From certain parts of every alfa they look stunning but they managed to bludgeon the look from different angles. I remember the brera from concept to actual car and it just didnt sit right at all from the side and that fat rear. Strangely in spider format it looked so much better. But you can tell half the design is always going to be comprimised when they have no budget to play with, but why would they when they don't make profit?

Find an Autocar car review