Ferdinand Piech, Volkswagen AG’s Chairman, said VW could roughly quadruple Alfa Romeo’s annual sales. Moreover, looks like Vw already has a complete plan in place to make that assertion a reality – including help from the sports car experts at Porsche.
Rumours from Germany claim Alfa is likely to receive direct assistance from Porsche, which is developing a new flat-four engine for a new entry-level roadster that will sit below the Boxster.
Though it appears purchasing Alfa Romeo has become Volkswagen top boss Ferdinand Piëch’s pet project, Fiat has managed to steer clear of the issue.
“As long as I am CEO of Chrysler and Fiat, Mr. Piech will never have Alfa Romeo. It’s hands-off. I told him. I will call him and I will email him,” Marchionne said.
Marchionne fired a second shot as well, according to Automotive News Europe, saying that Piech should be trying instead to turn around Seat, VW’s struggling Spanish brand, instead of eyeing Alfa.
“I’m not the one who bought Seat,” Marchionne needled. “He’s the one who bought it. I don’t know if he can [fix it], but he needs to try.”
But apparently, the Germans can’t take no for an answer. “Volkswagen has time,” said Piech in Geneva, a sentence that could be interpreted as a hint at the poor financial status of Alfa Romeo that could make the Fiat Group’s shareholders lose patience.
In a recent interview with Forbes, Marchionne admitted that the brand was losing money during each of the seven years he has been at the helm of the group. “I’m not sure if it ever really made any money,” were his exact words.
A Fiat Group spokesman told Autocar that the firm has “drawn a line” under any sell-off.
“We shut the door in their [VW’s] faces and now they’re trying to get in the window,” he said.