Future of Alfa Romeo in Question?


Alfa Romeo's parent company Fiat may end up halting all investment in the Italian car company after the future of the brand is carefully scrutinized. The automaker has suffered years of dismal sales and is now at a major crossroad.

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne is considering one of two options to help decide the fate of the Italian automaker. The first is to freeze all future investment in the company and let the existing models ride out their life. The alternative would be to revive the Alfa lineup utilizing Chrysler platforms.

"We need to work a lot harder on Alfa to make an intelligent decision that effectively preserves the highest possible value to Fiat," Marchionne told Automotive News.

Alfa could end up replacing its 159 and the recently discontinued 166 flagship model through its recreation. If revived, they would most likely share Chrysler architecture. The differentiated models could be built in the U.S. and marketed worldwide. "Certainly the availability of D and E segment (platforms) in the United States which are capable of being Alfa Romeoized is there," Marchionne said. "We need to look at the economics of that opportunity," he added.

The ailing company has seen its sales figures halved since 2000, bringing its 2008 sales total to a meager 103,000 units. Alfa has lost between $300 and $600 million a year over the past decade.

Source: Automotive News

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