Alfa Romeo Forums banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Interesting discussion going on at "The Truth About Cars" Blog from Sergio's Forbes interview:

Alfa Romeo: “Imported From Detroit”? | The Truth About Cars

Q&A: Sergio Marchionne - Joann Muller - Transmissions - Forbes

Sergio On Alfa (from Forbes):

" Forbes: Tell me about your plans for Alfa Romeo in the U.S.

Look, I’ve been in this business now – in Fiat — for seven years. Every time I talk to somebody they tell me, you know, Alfa is just a wonderful brand. Well, Alfa’s been a money loser inside Fiat now since I’ve been around. They’re exactly the opposite of what we are institutionally; they over-promise and under-deliver every year. And the problem is it’s a great brand with a long history. I’m not sure if it ever really made any money. Even before Fiat ownership I’m not sure it was a great deal. But it always had this sexy – it raced Formula One — I mean it’s got this incredible appeal which goes back, you know, to the time they used to be on the racetrack, and it’s the embodiment of a lot of things which are typically Italian; sportiness, lightweight, and everything else. And what happened is that when Fiat bought them back in the end of ’86 we Fiatized Alfa. Fiat was front-wheel drive; Alfa was rear wheel drive. So now all the Alfas are front-wheel drive. And we put Fiat engines inside the Alfas, and Alfa started losing more and more of its DNA as a car company.

And of all the things that we had to play with since 2004, you know, I kept saying if I can get to 300,000 vehicles I’ll be happy because it’s a re-launch of the brand. We were selling over 100,000 cars in Europe. We have done two significant things since then; we’ve launched the Mito, which is a B segment car. And then we launched the Julietta, the C segment car last year. These are true Alfas, both of them. I mean they have the right engines, the handling, everything else. The real opportunity for us is to try and take this architectural development that we’ve done in the U.S. with the C-segment Dodge sedan coming out next year and using that basic architecture to develop the next evolution of Alfa Romeo and really turn it into a global brand.

We need Chrysler to get that done because we need to share the cost of development of an architecture with them. So without Chrysler, to be honest, Alfa Romeo would have been a nearly impossible task because the cost…would have been prohibitive. So we had to find a partner to do it with. We could have found it over time but the fact that we had access to Chrysler; it benefited Chrysler tremendously because they could also reduce the cost of the investment, but we needed a guy to do it with and Chrysler is the guy. And so the future is pretty good. Strangely enough, I actually think that Alfa will have, at least initially, will have a better success story in the U.S. than it will in Europe. Simply because – I’ll tell you why, because a lot of people know Alfa here in the U.S. because of “The Graduate.” But there’s a history there which I think we need to go revive, and I think we can come back into Europe and play a much stronger hand in Europe once we have an established U.S. base."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
206 Posts
I predict that the Mito, and the new Gulietta will be in Canada not in two years but 15,in 2026 only because of the 15 year importation rule.The idea that it costs too much money to create a car to American or Canadian safety standards is BS, look at the 6c a limited addition car built for the same markets.
I think maybe Detriot is trying to save its market share.
Just my personal opinion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,074 Posts
Sergio On Alfa (from Forbes):


[...]And what happened is that when Fiat bought them back in the end of ’86 we Fiatized Alfa. Fiat was front-wheel drive; Alfa was rear wheel drive. So now all the Alfas are front-wheel drive. And we put Fiat engines inside the Alfas, and Alfa started losing more and more of its DNA as a car company.
Absolutely true.


Sergio On Alfa (from Forbes):

[...]we launched the Mito, which is a B segment car. And then we launched the Julietta, the C segment car last year. These are true Alfas, both of them. I mean they have the right engines, the handling, everything else.
Absolutely untrue.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,254 Posts
The 164 was in the works before Fiat bought Alfa. So, strictly speaking, Alfa went front-wheel drive all on its own.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,696 Posts
The Alfasud is front wheel drive as well, had its debut in 1972 and even though it's a cheaply made car... its all Alfa.
 

·
Certified Oldschooler
Joined
·
7,041 Posts
Strangely enough, I actually think that Alfa will have, at least initially, will have a better success story in the U.S. than it will in Europe. Simply because – I’ll tell you why, because a lot of people know Alfa here in the U.S. because of “The Graduate.” But there’s a history there which I think we need to go revive, and I think we can come back into Europe and play a much stronger hand in Europe once we have an established U.S. base."
Well they sure haven't done much for the "Graduate generation" to help us revive our memories. As my friend Tor points out, most of us are left clutching the steering wheels of our old cherished 105's. First off, keeping a commitment would be a starter. This generation is not big on empty promises. A 20 year gap is a generation of ignorance to fill with the young'uns who do not much want their father's car now.They seem to prefer green appliances. How to bridge that? Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
432 Posts
Alfa’s been a money loser inside Fiat now since I’ve been around. They’re exactly the opposite of what we are institutionally; they over-promise and under-deliver every year. And the problem is it’s a great brand with a long history. I’m not sure if it ever really made any money. Even before Fiat ownership I’m not sure it was a great deal.
Suddenly the last two decades for Alfa make perfect economic sense.

Why throw money into research and development for a brand that never turned a profit for anyone...including the Italian government???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,608 Posts
They were always big on losing money, yes. Maybe they've lacked a hardcore business guy like Sergio Marchionne for the last 40+ years? A bidnezz man first and a car guy second? There's no lack of know-it-alls who many, many years in retrospect can tell exactly how and when it went wrong for Alfa, but when asked their opinion about their future, they wax lyrically (and then some) about the period just before "everything went south".

In my line of work it's called "enumerating badness" and is frowned upon. That's not how **** gets done. Marchionne have - in the opinion of some - gotten embroiled in the hating of mopar, the hating of unions, the hating of the US govt bailout, the hating of smoking, the hating of sweaters and the butt of tired jokes about Fiats and even more tired stereotypes of Italians. Still he manages to be enthusiastic and appears to want to revive Detroit in some way (if that's even possible) while on the brink of relaunching Alfa in the US.

I think these are exciting times for Alfa Romeo. If you're jonesing for an Alfa, you should agree.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,696 Posts
I agree. We should remain (or regain) optimistic of the new Alfa Romeo. If not us, then who? I've been a Fiat fan and kept optimistic all these years - If one can support Fiat, Alfa should be easy.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
757 Posts
The 164 was in the works before Fiat bought Alfa. So, strictly speaking, Alfa went front-wheel drive all on its own.
My 164 has GM written all over it. I love it and its a great Alfa, but probably pushed to be FWD by GM rather than Alfa.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,608 Posts
My 164 has GM written all over it. I love it and its a great Alfa, but probably pushed to be FWD by GM rather than Alfa.
Fiat took many things with them from the "GM years", but the 164s driveline layout was definitely not one of them. In 2000 when GM got any influence on Fiat decisions, the 164 had been out of production for five years. The development of the 164 actually started before 1983 when the Type 4 chassis was developed together with Saab, Fiat and Lancia. GM had no say in Saab either back then. Why is it so hard to imagine that Alfa Romeo needed a new platform which was cheap(er) to produce than the old transaxle chassis from 1967? The fwd type 4 chassis was likely a camel that Alfa had to swallow in order to save on development cost, but they ended up with Fiat anyway. That's how bad it was.

This period in the Italian car industry is complicated, but introducing conspiracy theories is rather unhelpful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
995 Posts
So completely typical. Someone much closer to the problem than any of us, someone actually IN CHARGE, states in broad strokes what is wrong and what's needed to fix it, and all the rest of you do is go "Comic Book Guy" picking apart the particulars. HE'S TRYING TO HELP, you dumb...

Even though I'm a youngster, only owning them for the past 25 years, I've had my opinion confirmed by genuine oldsters that Alfa was *ALWAYS* more interested in designing (secondarily building) cars than they ever were about selling them. ALWAYS. One of the things that endears me about the marque is it survives both because and in spite of this.

You nit pickers, you nutters that long ago decided what a REAL Alfa was while driving the dealers into penury waiting for the depreciation to make them affordable to YOU. If nothing else Top Gear has proven outright that while the rest of you were sneering on the sidelines the people who make Alfas have been making ALFAS the whole God blessed time.

I'm GENUINELY excited to think that one of the oldest American car manufacturers might be directly responsible for reviving one of the oldest Italian car manufacturers. Unlike (it seems to me) most of you, I know my history and know that some of the most amazing Italian cars have American muscle in them, and the most amazing American cars have Italian art in them. I didn't think such a synergy was possible in the modern era, until now.

But fine, sit on the sidelines. Sneer at what is "real" and what is "fake." Piss and moan about times long gone that never REALLY were, when what you're all actually doing is being nostalgic for the gems you found IN THE JUNKYARD.

I've never had a problem paying premium prices for a premium car. I've ALWAYS been puzzled by the hippie with a bad haircut complaining about how expensive Alfas had gotten while driving his thirty year-old example away that had the plastic still covering the door panels.

I'm genuinely looking forward to when I can be "all Alfa" for the first time in fifteen years. I know that makes me desperately green, barely out of the womb even, but by God I'll have a heck of a lot more fun than the rest of you lot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
Finally, a sensible post!
Without FIAT, there would be no Alfa, period. Marchionne has plans that will make Alfa Romeo a world class player in performance cars and he is even thinking of taking Alfa Romeo back to the competitive scene, perhaps even to Formula 1. FIAT has shown, with Ferrari and Maserati, that they can build high performance cars that are second to none. Let him do his job!!!!
I honestly think that some posters here would be disappointed to see Alfa thrive!!!!


So completely typical. Someone much closer to the problem than any of us, someone actually IN CHARGE, states in broad strokes what is wrong and what's needed to fix it, and all the rest of you do is go "Comic Book Guy" picking apart the particulars. HE'S TRYING TO HELP, you dumb...

Even though I'm a youngster, only owning them for the past 25 years, I've had my opinion confirmed by genuine oldsters that Alfa was *ALWAYS* more interested in designing (secondarily building) cars than they ever were about selling them. ALWAYS. One of the things that endears me about the marque is it survives both because and in spite of this.

You nit pickers, you nutters that long ago decided what a REAL Alfa was while driving the dealers into penury waiting for the depreciation to make them affordable to YOU. If nothing else Top Gear has proven outright that while the rest of you were sneering on the sidelines the people who make Alfas have been making ALFAS the whole God blessed time.

I'm GENUINELY excited to think that one of the oldest American car manufacturers might be directly responsible for reviving one of the oldest Italian car manufacturers. Unlike (it seems to me) most of you, I know my history and know that some of the most amazing Italian cars have American muscle in them, and the most amazing American cars have Italian art in them. I didn't think such a synergy was possible in the modern era, until now.

But fine, sit on the sidelines. Sneer at what is "real" and what is "fake." Piss and moan about times long gone that never REALLY were, when what you're all actually doing is being nostalgic for the gems you found IN THE JUNKYARD.

I've never had a problem paying premium prices for a premium car. I've ALWAYS been puzzled by the hippie with a bad haircut complaining about how expensive Alfas had gotten while driving his thirty year-old example away that had the plastic still covering the door panels.

I'm genuinely looking forward to when I can be "all Alfa" for the first time in fifteen years. I know that makes me desperately green, barely out of the womb even, but by God I'll have a heck of a lot more fun than the rest of you lot.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,812 Posts
Finally, a sensible post!
Without FIAT, there would be no Alfa, period. Marchionne has plans that will make Alfa Romeo a world class player in performance cars and he is even thinking of taking Alfa Romeo back to the competitive scene, perhaps even to Formula 1. FIAT has shown, with Ferrari and Maserati, that they can build high performance cars that are second to none. Let him do his job!!!!
I honestly think that some posters here would be disappointed to see Alfa thrive!!!!
Sensible for sure. Great posts so far!
I am on board with with alfa all the way! To put it simply, Alfa will make it here and have great cars to offer us. Machionne would not dare to not ruin the brand, I can't see that. All I know is I will be happy with my new alfa someday! Thats all.;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,087 Posts
So completely typical. Someone much closer to the problem than any of us, someone actually IN CHARGE, states in broad strokes what is wrong and what's needed to fix it, and all the rest of you do is go "Comic Book Guy" picking apart the particulars. HE'S TRYING TO HELP, you dumb...

Even though I'm a youngster, only owning them for the past 25 years, I've had my opinion confirmed by genuine oldsters that Alfa was *ALWAYS* more interested in designing (secondarily building) cars than they ever were about selling them. ALWAYS. One of the things that endears me about the marque is it survives both because and in spite of this.

You nit pickers, you nutters that long ago decided what a REAL Alfa was while driving the dealers into penury waiting for the depreciation to make them affordable to YOU. If nothing else Top Gear has proven outright that while the rest of you were sneering on the sidelines the people who make Alfas have been making ALFAS the whole God blessed time.

I'm GENUINELY excited to think that one of the oldest American car manufacturers might be directly responsible for reviving one of the oldest Italian car manufacturers. Unlike (it seems to me) most of you, I know my history and know that some of the most amazing Italian cars have American muscle in them, and the most amazing American cars have Italian art in them. I didn't think such a synergy was possible in the modern era, until now.

But fine, sit on the sidelines. Sneer at what is "real" and what is "fake." Piss and moan about times long gone that never REALLY were, when what you're all actually doing is being nostalgic for the gems you found IN THE JUNKYARD.

I've never had a problem paying premium prices for a premium car. I've ALWAYS been puzzled by the hippie with a bad haircut complaining about how expensive Alfas had gotten while driving his thirty year-old example away that had the plastic still covering the door panels.

I'm genuinely looking forward to when I can be "all Alfa" for the first time in fifteen years. I know that makes me desperately green, barely out of the womb even, but by God I'll have a heck of a lot more fun than the rest of you lot.
This is absolutely refreshing to read...

When I bought my first Spider in the mid-seventies, Spiders were very expensive... When I bought my first new Alfa, my beloved 1984 Spider, they were still very expensive... When the 164s were introduced, they got great reviews and with the S, Alfa scored a home run that caught everyone by surprise as no car manufacturer was offering anything close to that edition in the USA. These were certainly pricey cars.

I have been a continuous Spider and Alfa owner since my college days by choice. The cars in my signature are all current cars and as long time new and used Alfa owners we certainly don't feel like we have ever compromised on any of our purchases.

While Alfa did pull out of the USA in 1995, the world has kept on turning with Alfa purposely in it. And there is an Alfa following, even in this Western Hemisphere, that is not based on a post-1995 Alfa-less experience.

Bravo, dscottj!

Best regards to all,
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top