Alfa Romeo is restructuring and bracing itself for a new turn around plan, 5 years to the day, give or take a month, since the the last turnaround plan began.
A new turn around plan usually means only one thing, the old turnaround plan failed. Alfa is undertaking a three prong attack to reverse its sliding sales woes by at first introducing 3 new models in the form of a 5 Series rival, a midsize SUV Audi Q5 style bruiser and a BMW 7 Series face off.
Its a seriously risky strategy which will cost 5bn euros to pull off and will actually result in a total of 8 new models, the investment is designed to boost global sales from Alfa’s current 74,000 per year to 400,00 units per year by 2018. The brand also plans to switch from front to rear-wheel drive and also add AWD variants into the mix.
Alfa hopes to debut new engine technology when the first models enter the market, a direct-injection and single or twin-turbo unit are said to be in the product development pipeline as are new generation diesel engines as well as a V6 twin-turbo petrol.
Alfa are also said to working on a midsize roadster, a cheaper spin-off of the 4C, think of a Mazda MX5 rival which will include the 4C’s running gear and turbo charged 1.8-litre engine and possibly a new for cylinder 2.2-litre unit. An Audi A7 and BMW 3 Series rival are also under discussion.
Fiat boss, Sergio Marchionne, who masterminded the 5 year turnaround plan, is using the full resources of the Fiat’s empire to shore up Alfa’s, currently, fragile defenses. A team of 300, based in Modena where both Ferrari and Maserati reside, are spearheading the development.
Alfa’s turnaround plan could either make or break the company, it currently sells three models in Europe, the Mito, Giulietta and the 4C mid-sized sports car. Sales in Europe are currently down this time last year from 41,793 to 37,695.