Fiat Chrysler Automobiles chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne finally decided to take a break from its intensive campaign of industry consolidation and turn his attention on a long lost child – Alfa Romeo.
Time and time again the famous Italian brand has been billed on the brink of rebirth and time and time again the promises failed to live up to the expectations. That might have changed on June 24, when the company unveiled its first new model in years – the Giulia midsize sedan, which is arguably the harbinger of things to come, as seven other models are set to follow by 2018. And rooting the company’s rebirth into its iconic past might do the trick – as during the night of the premiere did the surprise appearance of famous opera singer Andrea Bocelli, which drew a standing ovation as he managed to deliver the quintessential Italian flair. “Alfa Romeo is our Turandot,” commented Marchionne during the event, referring to the famous opera of Giacomo Puccini, which was only completed by Franco Alfano. “It is a masterpiece that has been a long time in coming.”
The revival process also serves as a deterrent to the critics claiming FAC was trying to completely abandon Italy. Marchionne and FCA Chairman John Elkann (great-great-grandson of Fiat founder Giovanni Agnelli) assured the audience the controlling family was still committed to making cars at home in Italy. The Giulia would be built in the southern Italy plant in Cassino.And several other factories will produce Alfa Romeos, Maseratis and Jeeps as CEO Marchionne believes Italy should become an export hub, rather than a home for the entry-level Fiat brand.