The Alfa 166 was discontinued in 2007, but Guangzhou hopes to breathe new life into the platformEnlarge Photo
China's state-run Guangzhou Automobile Group, which also builds cars for Honda under the Li Nian brand name
, has purchased Alfa Romeo's 166 platform. The Italian carmaker last used the platform to build a sedan which was discontinued in early 2007.
The purchase presages the company's efforts to develop its own brand, according to Automotive News Europe
. Currently the company is primarily focused on producing vehicles for Honda, including the Odyssey, Accord and Jazz/Fit for the local Chinese market. Some of the Jazz vehicles are exported to Europe, however, meaning the company's quality of output is similar to that of the Japanese plants also building the car.
Acquiring Alfa's 166 platform will give the company a basis upon which to build a new sedan, though what such a vehicle might look like is anybody's guess. Previous concepts from the company have been widely divergent in their styling and outlook. For example, the A-HEV hybrid concept
designed in a joint-operation with Italy's Torino Design looks like a modern take on the streamlined wagon, while the Guangzhou Coupe-Cabrio concept
is all sports-luxury car in its demeanor, complete with folding hard top.
The new sedan will be designed by Stile Bertone, the legendary artisans that have crafted so many of Italy's - and the world's - great designs.