Alfa Romeo has been a never-ending headache for Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne.
"The Alfa issue is complicated and simple at the same time. Alfa is a great, world-renowned brand, but it is selling fewer cars than planned," he told me during our first interview in October 2005.
Seven years and two relaunches later, Fiat's sports car subsidiary remains a Rubik's Cube that the workaholic CEO just can't seem to solve.
This year, Alfa will sell fewer than 100,000 cars. That would be the brand's worst performance since 1969. On Oct. 30, Marchionne announced a new plan for Alfa that calls for the introduction of nine new models in the next four years. In the past, Marchionne has been bullish with his predictions for future Alfa sales volumes.