The car industry - especially auto analysts - look forward to Fiat Chrysler (FCA) business presentations. In contrast, to the tightly scripted presentations delivered by the German car industry, FCA and its mercurial overlord Sergio Marchionne usually deliver the unexpected.
Yesterday’s ‘Business Plan Update’ was another cracker. Firstly, the much-trailed Alfa Romeo revival was delayed again. Putting some of the blame on the state of the Chinese luxury car market, the investments in new Alfa products will be ‘reduced for the next two years’.
Both are relatively new models, but neither has been a massive runaway success. Marchionne was quoted as saying that both cars ‘would go away for a long time’, but held open the possibility of FCA getting back into the sedan market by partnering with another car maker - probably a much less expensive way to stay in the segment.
But there’s sound reasoning why FCA wants to exit a mass sedan market that’s likely to be barely profitable.