TURIN – Alfa Romeo has finished preparation work on its first SUV and the model is on track to launch next year.
Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Alfa parent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, said the sporty brand’s second new model after the Giulia midsize sedan will go into production at the end of the first half or beginning of the second half of 2016.
"All the preparation work" in connection with the launch of the second Alfa is done, Marchionne told analysts on a conference call Thursday to discuss Fiat Chrysler’s second-quarter results. "Alfa’s plan is progressing as we told you it will go," he said.
Marchionne did not say on the call what type of vehicle the second model is, but supplier sources say it will be a midsize SUV, code-named project 949, that will be a rival to the Audi Q5 and BMW X3.
The SUV will be based on the Giulia sedan, the sources said. Its European sales launch likely will be in September or October in 2016 with a U.S. launch following about three months later.
Marchionne said Alfa has already spent almost 2 billion euros of the 5 billion euros allocated by Fiat Chrysler for the brand’s revival. The money has been used to develop the Giorgio rear-wheel-drive platform used by the Giulia, as well as its powertrains and on production startup costs.