Harald Wester, who has been named Alfa Romeo CEO last week, has been given the added task of bringing the brand closer to Abarth and Maserati. Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne wants Wester to identify synergies between the three brands under his control.
Marchionne said that he wanted to bring the Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Abarth brands under the same leadership in order to emphasize and leverage the value of the shared qualities of the three brands in terms of their sporting characteristics and performance.
Marchionne described Harald Wester as having demonstrated an enormous commitment on several fronts and achieving optimum results, will bring strong leadership capabilities and solid technical experience and know-how to this project.
Wester replaced Sergio Cravero as head of Alfa. Cravero has moved on to become Fiat's product and concept car planner. Alfa Romeo is currently under strategic review and Fiat will reveal the outcome in the spring.
The worst thing that could happen to Alfa Romeo would be if there is a freeze on development after the launch of the Giulietta.
In an interview with Autocar at the Detroit Auto Show, Marchionne revealed that Alfa has been underperforming for a long time. He said that on paper, Alfa may look attractive but actually, it had been the most difficult part of Fiat's recovery.
He clarified however that the marque isn't for sale and that it is the company's problem. He talked about rethinking its objectives and to first see how the Giulietta performs during its launch.