A German news organization is reporting that automotive giant, Volkswagen, has a strong interest in Alfa Romeo. That would mean that Fiat would have to sell Alfa to the Germans, something that they don’t seem to want to do.
Volkswagen has already said that they plan to become the world’s largest car company before 2018 and, in order to accomplish that goal, the company has set aside a $22.3 billion rainy day fund, in case they need to acquire a new company.
Automobilwoche is reporting that Volkswagen has a strong interest in the Italian brand. One VW official was quoted as saying, “If such a treasure could be had, we must not hesitate … too long.”
VW has wanted Alfa for quite some time, because their rival brand Seat, has not been able to sell well outside of its home market. VW believes that they could solve this problem with a historic brand such as Alfa Romeo, but they will need to find a way to get Fiat to sell.
“As already said by (Fiat CEO Sergio) Marchionne, there is no plan to sell the Alfa Romeo brand,” a Fiat spokesman told Reuters on Monday.
We hope that Volkswagen doesn’t get Alfa, because part of the reason why we love them so much is down to their Italian flair and design. Their passionate and soulful engineering is what has made automotive journalists love them so much.
There’s some bad news for both the Alfa Romeo Brera and theSpider: starting this fall the two models will be going out of production after only a five year stint in the real world. That’s not all; neither of the two models will get a successor. Bad news all around.
The Brera was designed by Pininfarina and was considered one of the most beautiful cars in the world, at least according to Jeremy Clarkson. However, despite this, the car has never really been a financial success for the company. Many feel that both the Brera and the Spider have never received a challenging enough engine.
The Alfa Romeo Brera was offered with a range of outstanding high-tech power units that offered generous performances: a 185 bhp 2.2 unit and a 260 bhp 3.2 V6 unit, both JTS direct injection petrol units. For the Spider, a 1.8 16V and 2.0 16v Twin Spark engines were available along with a 2.0 V6 turbo that produced 200bhp or a 3.0 V6 in either 12 (192 bhp) or 24 valves (220 bhp).
Now it’s time for both models to swim with the fishes.
We’ve all recently had the pleasure to check out the Japan only GT special edition, the Quadrifoglio d’Oro. It was unveiled at the end of July and we had thought it was the mark of many good things to come for Alfa Romeo. Well, we were partly right. We still think great things will be coming out of Alfa Romeo, such as their new Alfa Romeo 8C and their upgraded 159 sedan and station wagon versions, but what won’t be part of Alfa Romeo’s future is the GT. Apparently, the Quadrifoglio d’Oro will be the last Alfa Romeo GT ever built. According to Sergio Marchionne, the GT will go out of production after only 7 years and no successor is currently on the table. Where did it go wrong?
The Alfa Romeo GT was unveiled in 2003 at the Geneva Motor Show. It was developed by Bertone as a sporty alternative for the 147 and 156 (sharing the same platform with the two models). However, Alfa Romeo only sold 25,000 units in the Italian market which is where the company had the biggest expectations. Not a good thing. We think one of the biggest mistakes that contributed to the lack of success for the Alfa Romeo GT was Alfa Romeo’s decision to not offer a facelift version for it as initially planned.
Alfa Romeo’s participation at the Goodwood Festival of Speed needs no introduction or explanation. All you need to do is look at the event’s annual ‘Central Feature’, a statue that’s prominently displayed every year in front of the Goodwood house for fans to ogle at.
And because Alfa Romeo is celebrating their centenary – similar to how Audi was given dibs on the statue last year for their own centennial anniversary – Goodwood was nice enough to give them front and center (grass) billing.
Alfa’s statue will be on display for the entire weekend, and if you look at it closely, you’ll notice that it features the “new” Alfa Romeo 8C and one of its most iconic and rarest cars in existence, the P2. The latter car, just so you know, is only one of two cars in existence. This exact piece won the first world championship for grand prix cars in 1925. And yeah, by the way, that car is worth somewhere in the neighborhood of £15-20 million. Yikes.
In addition to the statue, Alfa will also be celebrating their 100th anniversary by having more than 50 of its historic vehicles, most of which can be found at the company’s Museo Storic historical museum, in attendance.
With all these historic vehicles in one place, you can’t say that Alfa Romeo isn’t pulling out all the stops to make their centennial celebration as unforgettable as it can possibly be.
There must be something in the water in Italy, or at least aroundAlfa Romeo. The company has said that they could meet and even surpass their sales target fivefold in the next four years.
“In the past you have heard several times Alfa promising such growth figures, but this time we have the right conditions, the right products and the right synergies to get there,” Alfa CEO Harald J. Wester told the Automotive News Europe Congress here last week.
The target is 500,000 in annual sales for its soul and passion brand in 2014. That is up from 100,000 in 2009.
Wester, who is also the CEO of Maserati, says that Alfa’s new products will help the brand reach that lofty goal. The company will be launching six new vehicles in the next four years, including a five-door version of the MiTo.
Webster also pointed out that the new partnership betweenFiat and Chrysler will help the Italian company like never before. Alfa’s new Giuletta hatchback is based on a new platform that will be in about one million Fiat, Chrysler, and Alfa vehicles every year.
"New Alfa Romeos will be better equipped and offer more rear legroom and comfort features," said Wester.
The Fiat owned brand will be celebrating 100 years with a special event in Milan.
After a very successful history of selling customized Fiat models (22,000 since 2008), Abarth has decided it was time to take its chances with the Alfa Romeo models: "The brand is doing so well that we plan to start producing more performance kits for Fiats, and even some Alfa Romeo models. We won’t be working with the Mito since Alfa already has the Cloverleaf, but there are lots of other possibilities," Antonino Labate,the firm’s sales and marketing boss told Autocar.
This, though, will not happen in the near future. Until then Abarth plans to introduce Esseesse versions for the new Punto Evo Abarth and 500C models. The Esseesse package will include engine upgrades, stiffer suspension, and uprated brakes.
But, wait, there’s more. Abarth will also be introducing the company’s first stand-alone sports car model within the next two years. Also in the next two years, Abarth will be bringing a dual-clutch gearbox for the Punto and Multiair engines for the 500.
Stay tuned for more details!
In line with their 100th year anniversary, Alfa Romeo is being given a lavish four-day party this weekend - from June 24 to 27 - courtesy of the city of Milan. Very impressive. We kind of wish that someone will do that for us when we hit three digits, too.
The event for the celebrant will be hosted by a number of groups that will pay tribute to the iconic Italian brand, who for 100 years - and counting, has been one of the most sought-after and widely respected car brands in the world. Among the groups that will be throwing this party for Alfa Romeo include the Milan City Council, the Fiera Milano Expo, the Monza Race Track, and, of course, the Alfa Romeo Museum.
Likewise, an anniversary of this magnitude deserves something that should be talked about for years to come and in this particular case, that ’something’ is a bronze sculpture of one of Alfa Romeo’s most iconic vehicles, the 1900 Disco Volante. The sculpture, which was donated by the Registro Italiano Alfa Romeo or ’RIAR’ and designed by artist Agostino Bonalumi with some much-needed assistance from the Centro Stile Alfa Romeo, was built to commemorate the Italian brand’s rich history of being one of the automotive world’s most respected brands. After all, you don’t get to last 100 years without being respected, right?
For its part, Alfa has not only lasted longer than most car brands have ever existed, but the combination of longevity and the continued pursuit of producing top-quality cars will only make this 100th year anniversary all the more gratifying with the thought of another one hundred years - possibly, even longer - becoming all the more attainable.
Happy 100th, Alfa Romeo!
You can’t say that Alfa Romeo isn’t pulling out all the stops to make sure that their 100th anniversary becomes as memorable as it can possibly be. Deservedly so, living to celebrate a full century is an achievement in its own right and Alfa is living it up by celebrating another one of their brand’s historic milestones: the 60th anniversary of the brand’s 1-2-3 finish at the first-ever F1 European Championship race. This race was held 60 years ago this coming May 13.
To commemorate the occasion, Alfa rolled out one of the cars that participated in the historic race - the Alfa Romeo 158 F1 Racer - to have a meet-and-greet with the brand’s latest pride and joy, the Mito Quadrifoglio Verde. It’s an unlikely pairing, but one that is steeped in history with both cars playing important roles in the brand’s continued success after being in the business for 100 years.
According to Alfa, the photo of these two vehicles - the MiTo and the 158 F1 racer - will be part of a bigger "visual celebration" that can be seen at the brand’s dedicated site, alfacentenary.co.uk.
Auto makers have, in recent times, taken advantage of the growing popularity of online shopping to set up their own virtual stores for everyone around the world to have an opportunity to purchase items ranging from shirts, key chains, and floor mats.
The latest car brand to set up shop on the Internet is Alfa Romeo, making its products – with the exception of its cas, of course - available to a global audience. According to the Italian automaker, the new Alfa store was designed “to communicate and enhance the values of Alfa Romeo as a historical and distinctively Italian brand”.
In addition to having the latest Alfa merchandise, Alfa Romeo’s new online store will also have some pretty cool special edition items, as well as special offers on products that you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
Check out the site and if you see something you like, your purchase is as easy as making a few clicks.
Alfa Romeo to be "featured brand" at 2010 Goodwood Festival of Speed; rumored car show also in the works?
Alfa Romeo – yeah, the same brand that’s celebrating its 100th year of existence – will be the “featured marquee” at the 2010 Goodwood Festival of Speed.
And if the reports across the pond are indeed true, then Alfa Romeo will be using the Festival of Speed to highlight its new flagship sedan, the 2011 Giulietta.
It’s also worth noting that plans for the 2010 Festival of Speed will be preceded by an auto show type event where, in addition to Alfa Romeo, a host of other manufacturers are also scheduled to partake in.
With the attendances for auto shows declining faster than sales of the new Backstreet Boys album – in addition to the seemingly increasing number of these shows propping in the calendar - we can’t help but question the timing of the folks from Goodwood in bringing their own auto circus in town. But then again, we’re not the ones making the decisions so whatever they decide on is their prerogative.
Either way, what seems pretty certain is that the new Alfa Romeo Giullietta, a car that we’ve been waiting quite a while to debut, will indeed be in attendance at the Festival of Speed. If for nothing else, that reason alone should be enough for us to keep a close eye on new developments as to whether or not it will be joined by other car brands for what could be the Festival of Speed’s very first car show.
While we’re pretty disappointed that the Alfa Romeo MiTo isn’t ending up on US soil, our friends over at Japan must be doing cartwheels and toasting to shots of sake after learning that Alfa Romeo has decided to bring over their stylishly cute compact vehicles to the Land of the Rising Sun. Even better is the fact that Alfa Romeo isn’t just sending any standard MiTos to Japan; they’re sending 150 special Imola Edition MiTos. Now’s a good time to start drooling.
These cars, which are painted in the classic Imola Yellow colorway, also comes with 18-inch wheels, red brake calipers, and chromed mirror caps, which gives all of us the impression that these special edition cars are a cut above the rest any standard MiTo. If those aren’t enough, the car’s interior comes with rare Pelle Frau leather upholstery and the same Imola Yellow-inspired color accents.
While we still don’t understand Alfa Romeo’s rationale in withdrawing the MiTo’s U.S. release, word that it’s sending these special edition babies over to Japan just made a lot of us more envious than we could ever possibly be.
Sometimes – much to our dismay – life works that way
The Alfa Romeo MiTo was supposed to make its American debut later in the year, but fears over how it would go over Americans squashed that possibility. Nevertheless, Alfa Romeo is still bent on shipping a model over the Atlantic and it seems that it has found the car that would be sent over to the US.
According to Alfa Romeo CEO Sergio Cravero, the first Alfa Romeo model to hit the US in more than 15 years is going to be the Giulia sedan. “The Giulia is a car that could be the most interesting for the U.S. market,” Cravero said. “We need to build cars together with Chrysler that have an Alfa Romeo soul.”
Rather than sell the hatchback MiTo, which Cravero thought wouldn’t go so well in America, the Fiat-owned company has decided that the Guilia – the successor to the 159 that Alfa sells in Europe – would be the car that Alfa Romeo hopes would rebuilt the brand in the US and help Fiat’s newly-acquired division, Chrysler, to break even in its own market.
Continued after the jump.