This week, Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of Fiat Chrysler introduced the long-awaited sedan Alfa Romeo Giulia. The new sedan is expected to boost the return of the premium sports car manufacturer to the U.S. market. Marchionne hopes that Giulia as flagship model will help to increase the sales to 400,000 units per year from 2018, compared to the sale of only 68,000 last year. Since becoming the CEO of Fiat in 2004, Marchionne has missed the targets multiple times regarding re-launching the brand. Merging with Chrysler last year has provided Fiat with necessary financial resources, technical expertise, and distribution network across the globe.
Marchionne has long been a proponent for mergers in the automobile industry to gain better returns. At the launch of Giulia, he told the reporters that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has been part of the brand’s strategy to gain more profits. However, he mentioned that the brand’s re-launch has no effect on his efforts for further consolidation in the automobile industry. General Motors has explicitly mentioned that it is not interested in a merger with Fiat Chrysler. Reports have speculated that Marchionne might directly approach the GM shareholders. Marchionne has declined to comment on this issue.
Analysts have put modest projections regarding the sales of the newly launched Giulia. Though Marchionne is positive, industry sources predict that Alfa sales would be only 216,000 by 2018, owing to the prolonged delays in the launch and the crowded premium cars market. In the U.S., Alfa will be competing with Jaguar, BMW, and Mercedes which have been present in the market for long. Analysts further predict that this will lead Fiat Chrysler to look at China and other fast-growing markets. But there also it will face stiff competition due to the presence of the major brands.