One must always be skeptical when Marchionne talks about Alfa Romeo. The top manager promised to transform Alfa into a premium brand, invest €5 billion euros, produce eight new models by 2018 and sell 400 thousand units (always by 2018). But how much can you actually believe when Marchionne talks about Alfa Romeo? Marchionne, like all of his predecessors, has so far failed to meet all of the above mentioned objectives and hasn’t respected deadlines on the brand’s returns in the United States.
In 2010 the CEO announced the sales objective of 300 thousand Alfas—115 thousand were sold. In 2014 he announced the sales target of 500 thousand Alfas. During the course of the year that target has been reduced to 400 thousand. But last year only 74,300 Alfas were sold world-wide.
And now, in the new business plan, a significant product is missing. Marchionne has cancelled in 2015 production of Alfa Romeo Mito—the sub-compact model that is made in the Mirafiori factory in Turin. If Alfa Romeo really wanted to challenge the premium brands like Audi , Mercedes and BMW, why withdraw from the sub-compact market? Audi has its A1; Mercedes is launching the new Smart four-seater; and BMW comes in with the Mini. Why Sergio, why?