New Fiat EMEA chief Alfredo Altavilla facing tough tasks ahead

Article by Anita Panait, on December 26, 2012

Alfredo Altavilla is facing a number of overwhelming challenges as chief of Fiat's Europe, Middle East and Africa region. Among the challenges include carrying out the vision laid out by Fiat chief executive Sergio Marchionne to transform the core Fiat brand from a mass-market brand into a profitable marque that sells models based on the 500 and Panda minicars.

The 49-year executive also have to make Fiat's European operations reach breakeven by 2015-2016, following a forecast EUR700 million operating loss this year. Altavilla also needs to successfully re-launch Alfa Romeo, following botched attempts to revive the sporty brand. He also needs to reduce Lancia to a niche brand based on the Ypsilon subcompact car and rebadged large cars from Chrysler imported from North America.

This may be the easiest among the challenges set, since shrinking Lancia to the Ypsilon model is a reality check and would not likely take much of Altavilla's time. Lancia sells 80 percent of its volume in its home market in Italy, and six out of 10 Lancias sold are Ypsilons. But the challenge of reviving Alfa Romeo could prove to be difficult for Altavilla as the brand needs new vehicles to boost sales, but is not expected to have a new volume product before 2015.

Alfa Romeo currently sells two models -- the MiTo subcompact car and the Giulietta compact -- and its volume is expected to be less than 100,000 units. What is expected to arrive next year is the low-volume 4C roadster. Worse, rivals like Audi and BMW are expanding their product range and delivers more vehicles in a month than Alfa builds in a year.

Alfa Romeo’s design features were retained in the latest Alfa Romeo 4C. Among the features taken up are its distinct handling, amazing performance, design and excellent aerodynamics. An uncompromising driving machine sums up the latest model. It also offers a thrilling driving experience.

The latest model was built to offer a maximum driving enjoyment. The car is also light weight. It combines form and function. The 4C’s profile and size are similar to that of the legendary Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale. It was styled to accomplish functional and mechanical standards. Its body aerodynamically 'covers' the engine and chassis with clean and essential surfaces.

The 4C was made at the Maserati plant in Modena. It was developed by Alfa Romeo engineers. The coupe vehicle makes use of design solutions and materials such as carbon, 8C Competizione and aluminum. The former is the material in which the rear-wheel drive is derived from. It has two racing bucket seats. The design and material were integrated with technologies from the company's latest models.

However, the 4C was meticulously remodeled to optimize its athletic appeal. To prove this optimization, the new model has enhanced its features to boost its sportiness. Firstly, it has the latest 1750 Turbo Petrol. This comes with aluminum block and direct injection. Secondly, the Alfa DNA driving mode selector with the all-new Race mode was integrated. Lastly, the refined latest-generation "Alfa TCT" dry twin clutch automatic transmission was also incorporated.

Topics: fiat

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