Plan number 9 does not look encouraging either as far as the Italian brands are concerned.
Alfa's looks particularly suspect and I doubt very much if the models laid out come to fruition. The Giulia has been delayed so many times it is ridiculous and it has been nearly 10 years now since Alfa ceased production of the 166 and left the large saloon market to the Germans and Jaguar. How Marchionne thinks he is going to attract customers to the current Alfa dealer network is beyond me, certainly in the UK. The new dealers they did sign up with promises of lots of new models to sell have been let down badly and it's amazing they car ry on when they only have the MiTo and Guilietta to sell at the lower end of the market. The way the marketing and selling of the 4C has been handled is a joke......Marchionne signed a deal with Mazda to spin a new Alfa spyder from the next MX5 but at the 11th hour decides all Alfas need to be made in Italy and quickly decides the joint venture car will now become an Abarth. No wonder investors don't believe him.
And the rich history of poor old Lancia has been totally squandered by inept Fiat management. You can't help feeling that if VW had got hold of either Alfa or Lancia, or both, we'd now have a range of good quality cars to choose from from both manufacturers.
I agree totally. Marchionne total lack of credibility is the problem. Besides, after so many years producing sub-par Alfa Romeo models (159, MITO and Giulietta) I wonder who is going to risk paying on an Alfa new model the same money of a comparable BMW or AUDI. Marchionne lost the train having the cheap 159 follow the very good 156. In the late '90s/early '00s the 156 was more than on par with the BMW 320 of the time and it restored some credibility to Alfa Romeo.
He should have built from there, but he decided to cheat with the 159/Brera, which was technologically backward from the 156. After that, he never really invested on the brand. MITO and Giulietta, while not bad as cars, weren't in the Alfa Romeo tradition. The 8c Competizione was splendid, but it wasn't a true Alfa, having a Maserati chassis and a Ferrari/Maserati engine.
The new Giulia has been announced many times and it was true lack it wasn't produced a few years ago, when the idea was to use the Chrysler 300C chassis and modified engine...there was a sort of revolt here and Marchionne opted for it to become the new Lancia Thema
, sealing the fate of that glorious brand (than utterly destroyed with the 200C sold as the new Lancia Flavia
). Suffice to say that those two 'Lancia' weren't sold even with 50%+ discounts!
Now plans are to produce the new Alfa Romeos (at least the first ones) starting from Maserati chassis...hhmmm...which are modified Chrysler chassis again ! No way they will really compete with the German premium cars.
About the Mazda venture...nobody here was happy with that...probably many middle-aged Alfisti were still remembering the last Alfa-Japanese venture (the infamous Arna !). However rumors say that the new historical 'victim' will be another famous model, widely exported in the USA too in the late '60s/early '70s: the FIAT 124 Spider (which had an Abarth version too) and that at the time was the main rival of the Alfa Romeo Spider (Duetto).
About Alfa and/or Lancia being produced in Germany...sorry but it would not do any difference. VW wanted to buy the Alfa Romeo brand, not the factories in Italy. That's quite different from Lamborghini or Ducati, which, although owned by the Germans, are still produced in Italy. A simil-Audi rebranded as Alfa Romeo wouldn't have anything appealing for an Italian Alfista. Even Lamborghinis, although still produced in Italy, are perceived as mostly German cars here.