According to a report by German magazine Auto Bild, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) will be launching seven new Alfa Romeo models and boosting the sports car brand’s sales fivefold.
Alfa hopes to first unveil a convertible Spider by 2016, and then release the sedan and wagon versions of the Giulia and Alfetta models in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
Both nameplates would be competing with their counterparts from luxury brand BMW. The Giulia sedan would rival the BMW 3 series, as the Alfetta sedan will rival the BMW 5 series.
Other vehicles to be expected from the brand are two crossover SUVs: one is compact while the other is a larger version. The compact crossover is slated to arrive in 2017, while the larger SUV will be hitting showrooms in 2018.
In December, Automotive News Europe reported that Alfa is creating a new rear- and all-wheel-drive architecture for its new models. According to AutoGuide, the new architecture was being developed by a team of engineers under FCA’s Chief Technical Officer Harald Wester. The architecture, which is said to have been named Giorgio, will be designed to be versatile enough to be used by both Chrysler and Dodge. It is expected to be used in the Giulia sedan and wagon, among other new models.
Auto Bild also confirmed that the brand’s front-wheel drive MiTo and Giulietta hatchbacks will not get replacements as expected.
Meanwhile, FCA targets Alfa sales of at least 500,000 vehicles per year, though the magazine did not provide a timeframe. The brand only sold 100,000 units in 2013.
FCA declined to comment on the magazine’s report, which comes more than a month before the company is expected to disclose its latest industrial plan. The plan will include investments and the new models the company will release over the next three years.
FCA is due to announce its industrial plan on May 6th.
The relaunch of both the Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands are part of FCA’s strategy to move back to profit in Europe by 2016. Vehicles from both brands will be built in Italy.
Fiat purchased the 104-year-old Alfa brand in 1986 and has since repeatedly attempted to revive the brand, but to no avail.
It was late last year when FCA Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne expressed the Italian automaker’s intention to “reshape the Alfa Romeo platform,” confirming yet another attempt to reinvigorate the brand.
Marchionne has high expectations with the Alfa brand because he is convinced that it will do better globally and sell more units compared to the mass-market Fiat and the upscale Maserati respectively, but others are not as convinced.
Plans to increase sales to 500,000 by 2014 were scaled back due to the six-year sales slump that affected the European auto market. As a result, the brand only released three models.
Nonetheless, the launch of the Alfa Romeo 4C proved to be a success. The lightweight sports car, whose starting price is $54,000 (excluding delivery charges), was well-received. It will be arriving in North America in the second quarter of this year.
Photo credit: alfaromeo.com