Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will offset the high costs of relaunching Alfa Romeo by sharing the brand's Giorgio platform with Maserati, Dodge and Jeep, CEO Sergio Marchionne said.
Alfa Romeo lost money last year and will lose money again this year before it gets the benefit of its new models, the Giulia sedan and Stelvio SUV, Marchionne told analysts on Jan. 26 after FCA presented its fourth-quarter earnings.
He confirmed on the call that other FCA brands will use Alfa's rear-wheel/all-wheel-drive platform.
Alfa's relaunch has probably cost the automaker "in excess" of 2.5 billion euros so far, Marchionne said. FCA said in 2014 that it would invest 5 billion euros in relaunching Alfa through 2018, though it later moved the timeframe to 2020.
Marchionne said the Giorgio platform was designed to underpin "the whole Maserati development beyond 2018," as well as large Jeeps and the next generation of rear-wheel Dodge vehicles.
"The investment in Alfa Romeo and certainly the technical investment in the architecture was something that was designed to benefit more than Alfa," Marchionne said. "I'm happy that we have finally found clarity of thought in the extension of these architectures well beyond Alfa."
Alfa launched the Giulia midsize sedan, the first car to use the Giorgio platform, in Europe and the U.S. last year and will begin sales of the Stelvio in the first quarter in Europe and in the second quarter in North America.
Marchionne did not specify which models from other FCA brands would use the platform, except to say that it would be used for larger Jeeps.
A source familiar with the automaker's plans said Dodge would use a lower-cost version of the platform as a basis for the next Charger performance sedan, Challenger sports car, Journey midsize SUV and Durango large SUV. It could also underpin a new Dodge midsize car based on the Giulia as well as the next Chrysler 300C.
Maserati would use an upgraded version of the platform on all its models, including the next Quattroporte and Ghibli sedans, GranTurismo and Alfieri sports cars and possibly for a midsize SUV to sit below the Levante, the source said.
FCA said in May, 2014, that it would invest 5 billion euros in Alfa Romeo to add eight new models and increase its annual unit sales by nearly a fifth to 400,000 vehicles by 2018.
In January of last year, FCA backtracked on Alfa's goals. It presented a new plan that extended the time frame for the brand's original five-year plan by two years to 2020. The new plan had no volume indications for Alfa.
The launch dates of Alfa's next models after the Giulia and Stelvio are uncertain.