Fiat CEO Segio Marchionne has put the VW-Alfa Romeo rumors to rest...for now. Alfa will officially stay under its Italian parent's wing for at least a little while longer as Marchionne attempts to revive the ever-struggling Italian luxury automaker.
Alfa Romeo, as you may know, is not exactly pulling its weight; it is estimated that Fiat loses over $400 Million a year because of the upscale brand, which Marchionne says will have to move 300,000 units annually to earn money. For the record, Alfa is on pace for ~105,000 units this year, and Marchionne wants to hit 500,000 units by 2014 with the help of new models and the US market (possibly in 2012).
If and when Alfa does show up, America should get some cars that will aim to compete with BMW. That means on top of the entry-level Giulietta (no MiTo for us), we should get the mid-size Giulia luxury car to take on the 3-Series, a larger 169 based on Chrysler's RWD platform, and possibly a small soft-roader to compete with the X1 and X3. As for other possibilities down the line, look no further than the Alfa Romeo lineup: the Brera's successor, a new Spider, and a larger SUV are all possibilities in a perfect world.
Before any of this happens, though, Fiat, its multi-tasking head honcho, and its shareholders will soon have to make a very important decision: invest upwards of $2 Billion to pull Alfa Romeo back from the brink or ditch it and regroup.
By Phil Alex