Financial analysts cited the lack of products, global reach and dealer network as factors that make them doubt that Alfa Romeo will sell more than 500,000 units annually by 2014 from only 102,000 units sold last year.
They say that it's unlikely that Alfa Romeo will be able to hit the target that Fiat S.p.A. CEO Sergio Marchionne has set.
They also said that if Alfa fails in achieving this goal, Fiat's auto division will have a difficult time of hitting another target that Marchionne has set for 2014 to raise operating margin to between 4.1% and 5.1% of revenues from 1.8% last year.
Arndt Ellinghorst, global head of automotive research at Credit Suisse, said that Alfa has huge potential but its aim to increase sales fivefold in five years is improbable. Massimo Vecchio, head of industry research at Mediobanca in Milan, agrees with these analysts.
He cited some figures, saying that Alfa aims to sell 85,000 units in the US in 2014, indicating that Fiat expects to boost sales in Europe from 100,000 units to over 400,000.
He said that he just doesn't see how the company will be able to attract so many consumers away from their rivals, which include BMW AG, Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz brand and Volkswagen AG's Audi.