MUNICH -- Alfa Romeo is not for sale "under any circumstances," Fiat S.p.A. Chairman Luca di Montezemolo said after a recent analyst report suggested the money-losing brand could be bought by Volkswagen AG.
"We will present the new Alfa that substitutes the 147 and we think there are also very important opportunities for Alfa Romeo in the United States," Montezemolo told Reuters in an interview.
Analysts from the asset management fund Sanford Bernstein had said on Dec. 10 that "Alfa may not be expensive and its cars would fit on VW's platforms."
Volkswagen has recently bought stakes in Porsche and Suzuki Motor Corp. and analysts have suggested Alfa could help VW group's Audi brand better complete with its German rivals Mercedes-Benz and BMW.
Chrysler to the rescue?
Alfa's aging 147 hatchback will be replaced by the Giulietta early next year but the car may be Alfa's last new model.
Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has ordered a strategic review of the brand to consider whether to freeze substantial investments after the introduction of the Giulietta or to refresh Alfa's lineup using Chrysler platforms to replace the aging Alfa 159 sedan and wagon and the discontinued 166 flagship sedan.
Alfa's new-car sales have declined steeply in the past decade as its range became older and new products were delayed.
Last year, Alfa sold 103,000 new cars compared with 203,000 in 2000. The brand has lost between 200 million and 400 million euros a year in the past 10 years, according to industry sources. Fiat does not release separate financial results for any of its brands.
Marchionne is expected to announce the future of Alfa early next year, when the Italian automaker presents its 2010 to 2014 business plan.