It was in October 2014 that we learned BMW had poached a top engineer from Ferrari [NYSE:RACE], which at the time was still part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles [NYSE:FCAU]. Now it’s been revealed that the same engineer, Roberto Fedeli, has returned to the FCA fold.
The news was confirmed to Automotive News (subscription required) by an FCA spokesman. Fedeli will head the engineering departments at Alfa Romeo and Maserati and report to Harald Wester, currently CEO of both brands and also chief technical officer for the entire FCA group.
Worryingly, it is being reported that Fedeli is coming at a time when Alfa Romeo is in the midst of potentially major engineering issues. Citing supplier sources, Automotive News reports that the new Giulia small sedan failed front, side and rear crash tests and thus required significant re-engineering, which is why the car missed its original European launch date of late 2015. If accurate, the report may explain the significant delays at Alfa Romeo announced by FCA a week ago. The last we heard, the Giulia is due in showrooms in the United States in the summer of 2016, as a 2017 model.
Fedeli is a Ferrari veteran, having joined the firm in 1988 and having led its engineering department since 2007. During his time there he worked on some impressive machines such as the LaFerrari, F12 Berlinetta and 458 Italia. He finally left Ferrari in 2014 to join BMW, though his role at the German automaker was never detailed.