Alfa Romeo Spider Spider on 2040-cars
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Auto blogSun, 06 Apr 2014
A report in Bloomberg adds more details to the plans for Alfa Romeo's fourth turnaround plan in Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne's tenure, and this time Ferrari is apparently going to be part of the show. In December Automotive News Europe reported that a new Maserati-derived rear-drive architecture would be the centerpiece at Alfa Romeo, as well as coming Chrysler and Dodge products. At the time, ANE said the platform would support a new midsize sedan and wagon perhaps to be called Giulia, a fullsize sedan and a midsize crossover, with retail appearance of the product initiative commencing perhaps as soon as next year. It would be part of Fiat's $12.3-billion spend on new models and European recovery.
The Bloomberg report says that particulars haven't been finalized, but the plan is to have six new Alfas appear over the next five years, two of which would be SUVs. The futures of the Mito and Giulietta, two of the three cars Alfa currently sells and 99 percent of sales last year, aren't assured, meaning that the lineup in six years could be seven cars (including the 4C), six of which we haven't any definitive clue of yet. The top-tier versions of those cars, according to the report - perhaps the Quadrifoglio Verde - "will be equipped with motors developed by Ferrari."
Marchionne wants to get sales up to 300,000 units per year when the lineup is complete, pairing Alfa sales with Jeep's global dealer network to open up the retail channel. That kind of volume would get Fiat's Italian plants back in business properly, even though Marchionne's stance on Italy-only Alfa production would mean the end of the anticipated roadster that was to be twinned with the coming Mazda MX-5 Miata. Alfa's direction will be laid out in Detroit in May as part of the overall strategy presentation for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV.
Every year Evo stages its Car of the Year test, bringing the best performance cars in the world to one location for an epic shootout. This year the magazine pitted eight CotY finalists against each other on Route Napoleon in Southern France - Evo claims it's the "best road in the world" - and then proceeded to nitpick the smallest of faults on each car until the winner could be named. You see, this year's lineup of machines was just so good that only one car obviously wasn't CotY material from the get-go. Can you guess which one judging from the list below?
- Aston Martin V12 Vantage S
- Audi R8 V10 Plus
Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne was unsurprisingly frank when asked by reporters about potential investments in Italian manufacturing for Alfa Romeo and Maserati, giving the Italian government the ultimatum, "Italy should decide if they want [Alfa Romeo's relaunch] to happen here or not as Fiat and Chrysler have several alternatives." Them's fightin' words.
Fiat's issue with the government stems directly from its courtroom clashes with the Fiom labor union. The two are currently embroiled in proceedings over longer shifts and shorter breaks, as Fiom has so far refused to sign a new contract citing revised labor laws that it says are anti-union.
According to Bloomberg, Fiat will be spending over $2.5 billion on development of eight new Alfas and six new Maseratis, in a bid to wrest some of the luxury pie away from BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi. But that's only going to happen if the government is willing to play ball and make life easier on Fiat.