Manufacturer makes plans for 2015 as troubled carmaker gears up for new products

Sergio Marchionne, chief executive of Fiat and Chrysler. Photograph: Fabrizio Costantini/New York Times

Sergio Marchionne, chief executive of Fiat and Chrysler. Photograph: Fabrizio Costantini/New York Times

Wed, Nov 6, 2013, 10:29

Alfa Romeo will finally have a new long-term product and profits plan by next year, Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne (above) has promised.

Speaking to analysts, Marchionne has said that “we continue to work in a pretty determined fashion in trying to reshape the Alfa Romeo platform and I think we will be in a position to outline more at the end of the first quarter of 2014”.

Alfa’s product plan was recently thrown into chaos by a decision to discontinue the front-wheel-drive Giulietta and Mito models and instead create an entirely new range, based on a new rear-drive platform.

The move saw the oft-delayed 159 replacement, the Giulia, move back again and left many wondering if Alfa really was being run down in preparation for a much-rumoured sale to the VW Group. Not so, says Marchionne, and a new range of models including that Giulia 3 Series-rival, a large 5 Series-style flagship and a compact SUV will be built on a new flexible rear-and-four-wheel-drive architecture, which will also see service under various Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep models.

The first of the new Alfas, the Giulia, should now arrive on sale in mid-2015. That’s assuming that Alfa can survive until then, which with a disastrous 30 per cent drop in European sales this year, must be far from certain.