Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has tasked new Alfa Romeo CEO Harald Wester with bringing the brand closer to Abarth and Maserati.
Wester, who is already CEO of Abarth and Maserati, was given the Alfa role last week and Marchionne wants Wester to identify synergies between the three brands under his control.
“The purpose of bringing the Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Abarth brands under the same leadership is to emphasise and leverage the value of the shared qualities of the three brands in terms of their sporting characteristics and performance,” he said.
“Harald Wester, who has demonstrated his enormous commitment on several fronts and achieved optimum results, will bring strong leadership capabilities and solid technical experience and know-how to this project.”
Wester has taken the Alfa top job from Sergio Cravero, who becomes Fiat’s product and concept car planner.
Alfa Romeo is currently under strategic review and Fiat will reveal the outcome in the spring. The worst case scenario for Alfa Romeo would be a freeze on development after the launch of the Giulietta.
“Alfa has been underperforming for a long time,” Marchionne told Autocar at the Detroit motor show. “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.”