Deep Dive: Volkswagen Scheming To Buy And Transform Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo Volkswagen illustration

2011 Alfa Romeo Brera

This isn't just a pipe dream for VW. According to two independent sources, a small project team has been instructed to create a phantom future Alfa line-up. Yes, three-dimensional stuff, but so far no full-scale models. Of course, this new array of theoretical future products would use architectures conceived within the Volkswagen empire. In a next step, the tentative projects will be reviewed and then passed on to Ital Design in Turin, which is now a VW subsidiary. Italian designers working for an Italian brand masterminded by Germans? Well, both Walter de Silva (group chief designer) and Wolfgang Egger (Audi chief designer) are Alfa Romeo veterans. Christopher Reitz, the chief designer at Alfa until he left the company early this year, is in turn a VW veteran who's distantly related to Piech.

While Alfa under the Fiat umbrella is becoming more of a family-oriented brand destined to add two controversial U.S.-built SUVs to its portfolio, VW would want to steer the marque back to its sporty roots.

In this scenario, Alfas would be built in Italy and in Spain where excess capacity could be used to accommodate the mushrooming demand for Audis. In Italy, Alfa could keep most of its existing labor force, and as far as the sourcing of components is concerned, there are plenty of synergies between the premium brands of Fiat Auto and the still tentative luxury car division within the VW group.

Comments our friend from the boardroom: "Marchionne intends to quadruple Alfa sales by 2014. If this or one of his other key plans falter, we will be there to pick up the pieces."

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JPnyc
If anything, VW should buy LANCIA instead, to replace SEAT.I think Marchionne is all talk,. Seriously, what have we seen so far to come out of the Fiat - Chrysler alliance? The Chrysler Delta? Wows me away ...Or maybe the Germans just physically like being in Italy and are looking for an excuse to go there more often :)(Turin is a great city) Yep, that must be it!
TheHummel
VW has come a long way in reliability in recent years. Not saying its perfect, obviously it has problems and I'm not denying that, but the Consumer Reports reliability ratings you speak of have improved dramatically in the past two years. Still, simply sit in a VW, and the fit and finish immediately stands out as far above the competition. I've owned a GTI for several years and have never had any major problems. The interior is a good as new, and the mechanicals haven't needed anything other than routine work.I'm not a VW fanboy or anything, but I think VW is the right company to buy Alfa.
btc909
VW quality is garbage. "miss, your Jetta has no oil in it" I laughed when I heard that one.
Facelessdrone2005
Sorry, Hummel, beg to disagree. VW's build quality sucks and has for years, just read the reliability reports in Consumer Reports. This is a marriage of two unreliable brands. The result will be the safest car in the world (because it will always have a tow truck in front of it).
TheHummel
Yes. Yes. Yes. This is just what both brands need. Alfas, though being the objects of desire to many enthusiasts, have always had poor reliability and build quality. VW can help with that greatly, especially build quality.German Engineering + Italian Style & Soul = PerfectionAlso, VW is right to bring Alfa back to its sporty roots. SUVs are the wrong direction for Alfa. What people want to see are cars like the 2uettottanta concept; something good looking, fun to drive, and the envy of others. Not saying all the cars should be like that, because thats simply impractical, but SUVs are simply the wrong direction.Alfa Romeo should be known as a sporty, sexy, quality brand producing cars in the $20,000- $45,000 range. Theres too much competition making practical cars for it to be successful. It needs to be the go-to brand for enthusiasts. VW has the production capabilities, money, engineering, and most importantly, will, to make that happen.

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