It’s been no secret but Fiat’s European businesses have been in the red for quite sometime now. The company has turned its attention to these plants to boost sales of its luxury models. Bloomberg has quoted sources saying that Fiat SpA (F) may invest as much as USD 12.3 billion (Rs 75,217 crore) on new models to end their losses in the European sector and revive their nearly empty Italian factories.
With the timing of Fiat’s sought-after merger with Chrysler (CGC) Group LLC uncertain, Sergio Marchionne, who is chief executive officer of both carmakers, is under pressure to stem the Italian manufacturer’s losses in Europe. While Fiat has previously said it aims to develop about 20 new models for Europe by 2016, including eight Alfa Romeos, the company has declined to comment on a revised European strategy until April.
Fiat’s immediate plan is to concentrate on the Maserati. The Maserati SUV will be sold from 2015, part of Fiat's plan to boost Maserati's sales to 50,000 in 2015 from just over 6,000 cars in 2012. Maserati's first two new models, the Quattroporte and the Ghibli, have been well received. The article also states that funds will be poured into projects associated with the Alfa Romeo and will also focus on creating new variants of the 500 and the Panda.
With the company shifting focus to the Panda and the 500, we can probably expect the Fiat Punto, a compact hatchback to be replaced by a five-door version of the 500.
The sources added that the company will launch the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, Fiat 500X and entry-level Jeep by next year. One can also expect the Maserati Levante to be launched by 2015, while the Alfa Romeo Giulia should hit the market by 2016.
With regards to Fiat India, the company is expected to follow in the footsteps of the main one and close off the Punto to concentrate on the Panda and the 500 as and when required. Also since the strategy also mentions increased concentration on their luxury models we can see that reflected in their decision to bring the Jeep and the Abarth to India.
Now even Fiat’s merger with Chrysler (CGC) Group LLC is uncertain, Sergio Marchionne, who is chief executive officer of both carmakers, is under pressure to stem the Italian manufacturer’s losses in Europe. This strategy might prove helpful in having implications beyond the company and affect the auto industry in general.