On May 6, Sergio Marchionne, the boss of Alfa Romeo parent company Fiat Chrysler, is scheduled to announce a five-year strategy for the group’s respective brands, with most in the industry eager to hear what’s in store for struggling Alfa Romeo. According to people familiar with the strategy, Marchionne will announce plans to make Alfa Romeo a standalone firm, complete with its own management team and headquarters, just like Ferrari and Maserati, which Fiat Chrysler is majority owner of.
The information was first reported by Automotive News (subscription required), which also reports that the move would make Alfa Romeo a standalone legal entity with publicly disclosed financial statements.
"Marchionne needs to make Alfa’s P&L clearly visible to make this new relaunch attempt into a credible business proposition," one of the sources is reported to have said.
Also rumored to be part of the Alfa turnaround plan is a move to make Italy the sole source for the cars, to increase the global footprint, to have Ferrari supply some of the engines, and to have the lineup comprised exclusively of rear-wheel-drive cars with all-wheel drive reserved for crossovers and SUVs--it would appear Marchionne is looking to repeat the success currently enjoyed by Maserati by using a similar strategy for Alfa.
This will be Marchionne's fourth new strategy for Alfa Romeo since he joined Fiat back in 2004, with all previous plans failing. The last one called for 300,000 sales by 2016, and the one before that called for 500,000 sales by 2014. Last year Alfa Romeo sold just 101,000 cars, and 90 percent of them were in Europe.
Stay tuned for an update.