Sergio Marchionne’s pivot to premium to secure a long-term future for FCA is in trouble. Even as it struggles to get the much-anticipated Giulia into showrooms, Alfa Romeo is reconsidering plans to launch smaller and larger sedans built off the same basic architecture. Sources in Italy say the Giulia-based Alfa Spider and Coupe have also been pushed back. Instead, Alfa is now pinning its hopes on the two new SUV models due in 2016 and 2017.
The small sedan, designed to replace the front-drive Giulietta hatchback, is a problem because the Giulia’s rear drive hardware won’t scale down to Audi A3 and Mercedes A-Class territory, and FCA’s only available front-drive architecture is Fiat/Dodge/Chrysler-based. The future of the large Alfa sedan, tentatively labeled 166, hinges on plans to replace the slow selling Ghibli and Quattroporte four-doors with a single vehicle. A closely related large Alfa sedan would enable FCA to share cost and manufacturing capacity.
Contrary to earlier reports, the gorgeous Maserati Alfieri Coupé is said to be still on track for a 2018 launch, with a Roadster version following in 2020. But while the next-gen GranTurismo and GranCabrio twins are still listed in the cycle plan for 2018 and 2019, there is now talk of instead launching a Macan-size Maserati crossover – based on the larger of the two Alfa SUVs – to complement the strong selling Levante and generate urgently needed cash.