China, the largest auto market in the world, has experienced this year a relative slowdown and it appears the weakness is already altering the global expansion strategy for the Alfa Romeo brand.
According to Sergio Marchionne, chief executive of the make’s parent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, they have been deterred especially by the higher issues with imported luxury autos – which are subject to increased taxation – and forced a plan modification for the struggling premium sporty brand. The CEO did add the company was still mulling annual sales of Alfa vehicles of at least 400,000 units by 2018 – only the majority of units that were initially assigned to China would have to be redirected towards other regions, such as North America or Europe, said Marchionne during the group’s third quarter conference call. Back in May last year, Fiat Chrysler pledged an expansion for the struggling Alfa Romeo brand through investments of 5 billion euros that would yield eight new models in the lineup.
Marchionne added the strategy to invest or the model roster has not been modified – the new model introduction order may be the one subject to change in order to better fit European and North American consumers – the planned investment could be finished in 2019 or 2020. The new sequence of introductions will most likely be announced early next year, with the first new model introduction being the Giulia midsize sedan – scheduled to arrive in showrooms before the year’s end. The flagship version will be the Quadrifoglio which can be had starting at 95,000 euros in Italy.
Via Automotive News Europe