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”.
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.