The next few years are going to be the Fiat's announced targets for the separation of its automotive business which includes Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Ferrari, and Maserati, as well as Chrysler—from the rest of the company.
The remaining part, Fiat Industrial, is less glamorous, but its sales of trucks, farm tractors, and construction machinery make it more profitable. The logic behind the split: Fiat Industrial could be worth more without the burden of the auto business, and the auto business will be more nimble and agile in pursuing alliances with other carmakers.
The independence of Fiat's auto business will make a complete fusion with Chrysler far easier, and the company does need to identify and nurture cooperation opportunities if the alliance is to make any sense. Alfa Romeo which came to America in 2012 has added a number of new/redesigned vehicles, including the new Giulietta, a new MiTo subcompact, crossover and SUV models, a sedan, and a Spider convertible.
By 2014, Marchionne expects Alfa to account for 500,000 annual sales worldwide. That's up from about 100,000 in 2009. The U.S.market launch was planned for late 2012, with the first models being a mid-size sedan and sport wagon—they may wear the Giulia name—plus a crossover model based on the Giulietta platform. An all-new Alfa Spider and a five-door variation of the MiTo followed in early/mid 2013, while the Giulietta model comes in 2014 after it receives its first face lift. 2014 also sees a larger Alfa crossover reaching our shores. Sales are likely to be through Chrysler dealerships.
Fiat is slated to use Chrysler’s new Pentastar V-6 to replace an aging Holden V-6 that dates back to the old Fiat/GM tie-up. Chrysler will take advantage of Fiat’s Multiair valve-lift system, too. Even if these plans are fully financed and the products appear without a hitch, increasing awareness and regaining consumer trust both here and abroad are just the first steps. The vehicles can’t only be new, they’ve also got to be good. In that regard, a large number of these brands have nowhere to go but up.