Alfa Romeo completes prep phase of SUV, on track to arrive in 2016

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 10, 2012

Preparation work on Alfa Romeo’s first SUV is finished and the model is expected to be launched next year. Production of the SUV, which follows the Giulia midsize sedan, will begin at the end of the first half of next year or at the start of its second half, according to Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Alfa parent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Marchionne made this announcement to analysts during a conference call last Thursday to discuss the second-quarter results of Fiat Chrysler. He said that the plan for Alfa Romeo is progressing as expected. While Marchionne didn’t say what type of vehicle it is, supplier sources have said that it will be a midsize SUV with a code name of 949.

They also said it will be competing against Audi Q5 and BMW X3. The sources also said that this SUV will be based on the Giulia sedan. It’s likely that this model will be launched in Europe in September or October next year and that it will arrive in the U.S. about 3 months later.

Marchionne shared that nearly 2 billion euros have been spent by Alfa for its revival from the 5 billion euros that Fiat Chrysler allocated for it. Alfa has spent money on developing the Giorgio rear-wheel-drive platform for the Guilia, its powertrains, and on production startup expenses.

It was confirmed by Fiat Chrysler Chief Financial Officer Richard Palmer that production of the Giulia will start in the fourth quarter. Journalists had their first look of the sedan last June. It’s slated to make its public debut next month at the Frankfurt auto show.

The Guilia, which will be pitted against the BMW 3 series, will arrive at dealerships in Europe next year, either in February and March. It will make it to the U.S. a few months after. The engines available on the Guilia are of the high-performance variety, one of which is a Ferrari-derived V-6.

Alfa is targeting between 2017 and 2018 for the launch of a Giulia coupe and spider variants. Marchionne said that other Fiat Chrysler rear-wheel-drive models may use Alfa’s Giorgio architecture. He didn’t name the brands but it’s likely to be offered with Chrysler and Dodge models.

He didn’t give new details on when Alfa’s other products will come out but he explained that he might have a definitive outlook by the end of 2015. He said that the company is studying the launch sequence of its products to ensure that it gets the “biggest bang for the buck” from making use of its architecture when it comes to volumes.

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