Seven new Alfas by 2018 - report
Milan, Italy - Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will unveil seven new Alfa Romeo models and push to increase sales of the sports car brand fivefold, according to Germany's Auto Bild magazine.
Fiat has said the relaunch of the 104-year-old Alfa Romeo brand, along with luxury Maseratis, is a key part of the group's plans to return to profit in Europe by 2016, insisting that both brands will be made in Italy.
Auto Bild said on Friday the company was aiming for Alfa sales of at least 500 000 vehicles a year - compared with about 100 000 in 2013 - but did not mention either sources or a time frame.
Fiat Chrysler Auto declined to comment.
The company is due to unveil a new industrial plan, outlining investments and new models the group will pursue over the next three years, on 6 May 6.
The magazine said the company was planing to release a convertible Spider by 2016, followed by the sedan and wagon versions of the Giulia and Alfetta models in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
The Giulia sedan would compete with BMW's 3 Series, it said, while the Alfetta sedan would rival the German automaker's 5 Series.
According to Auto Bild, there are also two crossover sport utility vehicles, a compact version and a larger one, which will come to the market in 2017 and 2018 respectively the magazine said. It added that the MiTo and Giulietta hatchbacks currently in production would not be replaced as previously anticipated.
Chief executive Sergio Marchionne is betting on the sporty Alfa brand because he believes it can deliver the global profile that his mass-market Fiat brand cannot and far greater sales volumes than top-end Maseratis, but the strategy has so far been met with scepticism.
Fiat acquired the Alfa brand in 1986, but has since failed to reinvigorate it despite repeated attempts.
Ambitious plans to boost sales to half a million by 2014 have been gradually scaled back, partly because the auto market in Europe was hit by a six-year long slump in sales, leaving behind a weak reputation for quality and just three models.
The recently launched Alfa Romeo 4C coupe was well received, however.Reuters