The relaunch of the 104-year-old Alfa Romeo brand, along with luxury
Maseratis, is a key part of the group's plans to return to profit in
Europe by 2016. Both Alfas and Maseratis will be produced in Italy,
FCA has said.
The company aims for Alfa sales of at least 500,000 vehicles a year
compared with around 100,000 sold last year, the magazine said in an
unsourced report. It did not mention a timeframe.
FCA declined to comment. It is due to unveil a new industrial plan,
outlining investments and new models the group will pursue over the
next three years, on May 6.
Auto Bild said the company plans to release a convertible Spider by
2016, followed by the sedan and wagon versions of the Giulia and
Alfetta models in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
The Giulia sedan will compete with BMW's <BMWG.DE> 3-series, while
the Alfetta sedan would rival the German automaker's 5-series.
The pipeline also includes two crossover sport utility vehicles, a
compact version and a larger one, which will come to the market in
2017 and 2018, respectively, the magazine said.
The MiTo and Giulietta hatchbacks currently in production will not
get replacements as previously anticipated, it added.
Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne is betting on the sporty Alfa
brand because he believes it can deliver the global profile that his
mass-market Fiat brand cannot and far greater sales volumes than
top-end Maseratis, but the strategy has so far been met with
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Fiat acquired the Alfa brand in 1986, but has since failed to
reinvigorate it despite repeated attempts.
Ambitious plans to boost sales to half a million by 2014 have been
gradually scaled back, partly because the auto market in Europe was
hit by a six-year long slump in sales, leaving behind a weak
reputation for quality and just three models.
The recently launched Alfa Romeo 4C coupe was well received,
(Reporting by Ed Taylor and Agnieszka Flak;
editing by Anthony
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