Fiat have finally realised what most people already knew, their ambitious growth plans for Alfa Romeo were… well too ambitious. Fiat announced today that it would be dropping targets to reach a production rate of 400,000 vehicles per year by 2018. Alfa Romeo are expected to confirm that global sales remained flat during 2015 at around 65,000 units.
Alfa will continue on it’s launched trajectory with eight new models planned by 2020 and not by 2018 as originally intended. Alfa Romeo is re-entering the key US market and with no sales infrastructure in place initially targeted 150,000 units per year.
In Alfa’s second key market in China 80,000 vehicle units were expected to fly off the shelves even though the company has no market presence in China. Alfa have abandoned that plan citing China’s slowing economy.
But even if the Chinese economy were strong it would have taken more than two or even four years to go from zero to 80k units per year by 2018 or 2020. It just doesn’t happen and it couldn’t because Fiat would not be able to scale up production that quickly.
Alfa was forced to delay the launch of its mid-sized Giulia saloon back in 2015 because of technical difficulties and instead slated for release the high performance Giulia Quadrifoglio by November of 2015.
However the Giulia Quadrifoglio was also delayed again due to more technical issues. Today Fiat affirmed that it would arrive in showrooms by June.
Alfa is also planning to launch its first ever SUV based on the a modified Giulia platform and was expected to launch later this year.
During a presentation on Fiat’s website CEO and Chairman, Sergio Marchionne, two SUVs, a hatchback and premium executive saloon will not appear until 2017 or 2020.
In 2014 Sergio Marchionne was bullish about Alfa’s when he announced a 5 billion euro investment plan designed to reverse Alfa’s losses and collapsing sales over the last 10 years. It hasn’t quite gone to plan.