Late last year, we learned that a cooling Chinese market had caused Fiat Chrysler Automobiles [NYSE:FCAU] to rethink its plans originally announced during a company-wide five-year strategy presentation made to investors in 2014. Namely, the rethinking was said to include delays for models from the Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands. In a new presentation made to investors this week, FCA confirmed there would in fact be some delays.
The most ambitious of FCA’s original plans were those for Alfa Romeo, which was promised to have an eight-car lineup as early as 2018. FCA’s new presentation revealed that plans for eight cars are still in place but their arrival now won’t be complete until "mid-2020."
The first of these eight cars, the Giulia small sedan, was meant to be launched last year. It’s currently set to arrive in showrooms later this year. According to the presentation’s documents, it will be followed by a small SUV, either late this year or early next. A test mule for this vehicle has been spotted.
Beyond these, the make-up of the six additional models has changed slightly. Instead of two new compacts, Alfa Romeo will now get a single compact, predicted to be a new Giulietta hatchback based on a shortened version of the Giulia’s rear-wheel-drive platform. This will be one of the last models to arrive, hence the reason the current Giulietta is being updated. It was to be dropped from the lineup under the old plans.
There will also be a mid-size sedan likely twinned with the Maserati Ghibli, plus two additional "utility" vehicles and two "specialty" models. The two utility vehicles are likely to consist of compact and mid-size SUVs to serve as bookends to the upcoming small SUV, due to strong demand for high-riding models. It’s not clear what the specialty models will be, though they could consist of a new Alfa Romeo Spider and the oft-rumored 6C sports car. Below is a rough outline of Alfa Romeo's new product schedule.
2016-2017: Small SUV
2017-2020: Mid-size sedan, compact SUV, mid-size SUV, compact, two specialty cars