Fiat is aiming to compete globally in the ‘near-premium’ market with plans to release a rear-wheel drive flagship instead of an Alfa SUV for 2014. There is also a possibility for a Jaguar Land Rover competitor by way of a joint venture with Jeep.
Alfa plans on powering the upcoming flagship with a V6, which could possibly be a sister car to Chrysler’s next 300 and built with it in the U.S. These plans have resulted in the delay of the Giulia, the 159 follow up, by about a year, pushing the release back to 2014. This leaves a year long gap for Alfa with no competitor in that price range.
Alfa’s CEO Harald Wester claimed at the Frankfurt Motor Show that Alfa will still move 155,000 units this year, with a target of 400,000 by 2014. Sales for the Giulietta are anticipated at around 90,000 units, which leaves the upcoming SUV as the mainstream vehicle to keep sales numbers up, and 2013’s new Mito.
The 2013 SUV is said to be roomy, reliable, and handle the road well, along with being cost efficient to build and drive. For 2014, the Giulia and Giulia Station Wagon will be released, along with a new design for the Giulietta.
The brand is continuing with plans to rebuild its reputation with quality, reliability, and overall consumer satisfaction ratings on par with the market. Alfa says its goal is to “provide advanced cars that deliver Italian design and a dynamic and active driving experience,” and seeks to use past mistakes as ways to improve for the future.
– By: Alexandra Koken