Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne may be a very powerful, very intelligent and forward thinking man but his comments about Alfa Romeo and Dodge have left me well and truly baffled.
“The level of competition between these two brands is tremendous because they are both going after the same customer,” is how Marchionne described the relationship between two of the brands he oversees.
Is he serious? The last time I looked at the European Dodge line-up, it featured some rather agricultural brutes such as the Caliber and Journey. Perhaps the one defining characteristic you think of when it comes to Alfa Romeo is the universal good looks across the range. This, respectfully, is not a statement you would attribute to Dodge.
Marchionne goes on to say that Dodge is the American muscle car and Alfa Romeo is the European muscle car. With cars like the SRT-10 and Ram, I would not disagree with the Dodge comments here. But Alfa Romeo is not a muscle car maker. Yes, the 8C is big and powerful, but its styling is certainly not that of a true muscle car.
As one of our forum posters pointed out, when was the last time your car buying decision came down to a Dodge and an Alfa Romeo? I would bet you could probably count the amount of times this situation has occurred on one hand.
At this stage, the idea remains just that, an idea. When you start playing around with the core values of brands such as Alfa Romeo and Dodge then the whole thing will probably end in tears.
I trust Marchionne to make the right call here and I’m sure common sense will prevail. Dodge and Alfa Romeo similarities end at the fact they are owned by the same parent company.
I mean, can you really picture yourself driving an Alfa Romeo Nitro on UK roads?