TURIN – Fiat S.p.A.'s Alfa Romeo brand will add two SUVs and renew its core compact and mid-sized models as part of its quest to lift annual sales to more than 500,000 by 2014 from 102,000 last year.
Alfa has never produced an SUV in its 100-year history, but it expects the new models to account for a combined 80,000 to 100,000 units a year before the middle of the decade.
Massimo Vecchio, head of industry research at Mediobanca in Milan, is not so sure Alfa will be able to sell that many SUVs because German premium brands BMW, Mercedes and Audi already dominate the segment.
When asked to comment of the rest of Alfa's lineup, Vecchio said:
”With the new Giulietta (compact) Alfa has to repeat the success enjoyed by the 147 in its early years; while the new Giulia (mid-sized car) has to overcome the fiasco of the 159, which never even got close to sales of its predecessor, the 156.”
Fiat S.p.A. CEO Sergio Marchionne wants to transform Alfa into a “full-line premium carmaker.” On April 21, he said Alfa would make its U.S. return in late 2012. He expects North America to account for 85,000 of Alfa's 500,000 global sales by 2014. Sales in Europe should grow from about 100,000 last year to more than 400,000 in 2014.
Below are capsules on the Alfa models that will be key to helping the brand reach its 2014 sales goal.