Fiat Chrysler CEO says Alfa Romeo brand is not for sale, remains open to new alliances

Article by Andrew Christian, on August 3, 2014

Fiat Chrysler is not selling its Alfa Romeo brand, affirmed chief executive Sergio Marchionne. Marchionne, however, said that he is open to alliances with other carmakers if it would result to lower costs particularly in Europe. "We are not in the business of brand-trading," Marchionne said during a conference call.

Fiat Chrysler is spending EUR5 billion in an attempt to transform Alfa Romeo into global premium brand with eight new models – to be underpinned by a new rear-wheel-/all-wheel-drive architecture dubbed as Giorgio -- and annual sales of 400,000 by 2018.

Alfa has been losing money in Marchionne's 10-year stay at Fiat. Fiat received an offer in 2010 from Volkswagen Chairman Ferdinand Piech offered to buy the marque, but Marchionne didn’t entertain any thought about selling Alfa Romeo to any carmaker.

Marchionne remarked at the conference that Fiat Chrysler remains committed to Alfa Romeo. Alfa Romeo currently offers two yet aging models -- the MiTo hatchback and the Giulietta.

It saw it sales in Europe drop to 32,769 in the first half of 2014 from 36,148 in the period in 2013, according to market researchers JATO Dynamics.

During the conference call, Marchionne dismissed recent news reports over a possible merger discussion with PSA/Peugeot-Citroen or Volkswagen.

He however, remarked that he is open to considering new alliances. Fiat recently reached an agreement for Renault to produce the successor to the Scudo light commercial van. The new model will be based on the Renault Trafic. [source: automotive news - sub. required]

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