Marchionne promises revival for Alfa Romeo, again image

This is Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne’s fourth resuscitation plan promised in just nine years for the struggling Alfa Romeo premium brand.

Alfa’s future is a key to Marchionne’s effort to turn around the Fiat Group, which just said it has decreased its profit target for 2013 because of continued losses in Europe and slumping sales in Brazil.

“We continue to work in a pretty determined fashion in trying to reshape the Alfa Romeo platform and I think we will be in a position to outline more at the end of the first quarter of 2014,” Marchionne said during a conference call with analysts two days ago.

Marchionne also said he would unveil a new five-year strategy for Fiat Group and Chrysler next year, most likely in late April when the companies’ first-quarter earnings are reported.

For Alfa, the plan relies on a new rear- and all-wheel-drive platform that is being developed by a small team of engineers who report directly to Harald Wester, Fiat-Chrysler’s chief technical officer as well as CEO at Alfa and Maserati.

Sources say the engineers, who are based at Maserati’s headquarters in Modena, Italy, mull a high flexibility for the architecture, which could also be used by the Chrysler and Dodge brands. Alfa needs the new architecture to compete better with German rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz, which offer rear and 4×4 cars favored by many driving enthusiasts.

Via Automotive News Europe