Yesterday, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles unveiled a long overdue five-year business plan – and one of its biggest challenges is the complete overhaul of the Alfa Romeo brand.
Well known to both dire car fans and casual motorists alike, the historic and sporty Italian brand has had its ups and downs over the years, but recently it’s been heralded as the industry’s Phoenix one too many times.
Nevertheless, CEO Sergio Marchionne aims to overcome the seven years of collapsing sales and declining market share by pouring as much as 5 billion euros ($7 billion) in Alfa Romeo.
The brand would be “entering new territories and segments we’ve never been in,” said Alfa Romeo CEO Harald Wester. “We needed to reset all and simply go back to the Alfa Romeo that people admired.”
That means the incredibly small line-up will come to encompass eight models by 2018, with sales forecast to rise from 74,000 in 2013 to 400,000 units in that period. The entirely new line-up – the MiTo subcompact will not get a replacement and the next Giulietta compact would shift powertrain architecture from fwd to rwd – will be pinned by a single new rear-wheel-/all-wheel-drive architecture called Giorgio.
According to the executives, that platform is capable of sustaining models from the compact to the large segment, including crossovers and SUVs. According to rumors, Alfa’s new line-up should host two body styles for the compact replacement of the Giulietta. A new mid-size sedan will be first among the new models, designed as a successor to the 159. Alfa would also get a flagship, two crossover/SUVs and a “specialty” model.
Via Automotive News Europe