Last Chance For Alfa Romeo: Ferrari Engines
|   Monday, April 07, 2014
The Fiat Group is planning on taking the horses from a Ferrari engine as part of the latest effort to transform Alfa Romeo into a money making machine.

Fiat plans to develop a new line of rear-wheel drive sedans and SUVs to revitalize the Italian sports car brand, Alfa Romeo, and to compete with manufacturers like BMW, according to Bloomberg. 
The new Alfa Romeo models will begin to arrive on the market in 2016 and the most expensive versions will be equipped with engines developed by Ferrari, according to sources within the company.


The efforts of Sergio Marchionne, CEO of the Fiat-Chrysler Group to make Alfa Romeo profitable brand have been going on for some time. Since Marchionne arrived at Fiat in 2004 Alfa Romeo annual deliveries decreased by 56 percent to 74,000 units. In 2012, he dropped Alfa Romeo sales target by 40 percent because the promised models have been delayed by the crisis in Europe. 
Now, when demand for cars in the region is starting to recover, and Fiat is armed with more resources thanks to the Chrysler takeover, they are going for a "now or never" approach with the Italian sports brand.

"This is the last chance for Alfa Romeo," declared Giuseppe Berta, professor at Bocconi University and former chief of Fiat's archives. "Marchionne's bet is a long shot. To beat the German premium brands, he needs to make Alfa unique. His best chance is Ferrari engines and Italian design."

Fiat declined to comment on plans for Alfa Romeo. The company will unveil its strategy for Alfa Romeo in May, as part of a strategy presentation in Detroit after the merger between Fiat and Chrysler.

The aim is to launch at least six new Alfa Romeo models over the next five years. These new models include two SUVs to boost sales. Also, in order to reduce development costs Chrysler resources will be used.

Alfa Romeo's relaunch already started ore or less when the 4C sports car appeared. This model went on sale last year in Europe at the New York Auto Show it reached America. The new wave's first model will be a mid-sized sedan, called Giulia that will be reviving a well-known name from the 60s.

"Alfa Romeos have to be produced in Italy with an Italian powertrain," Marchionne declared at the Geneva Auto Show, the place where the brand unveiled the spider version of the 4C. "Some things belong to a place, and Alfa belongs to Italy."

"This is long overdue," said Roberto Ferrari, head of the Alfa Romeo dealer association in Italy. "We've been waiting for years for a clear and definitive strategy for the brand and a full lineup of products."

Marchionne wants Alfa Romeo to base its strategy on making upscale cars in Italy that will be exported worldwide, thus infusing new life and money into the in the region. The new Giulia will be built at the Cassino factory close to Rome.
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