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Does Fiat With Alpha Romeo 4C Invest To Expensive Quality..?

Alpha Romeo with its expensive models is focusing on buyers that are attracted by quality. Quality from its part, is expensive and this fact, distinguishes it from quantity. The issue is directly related with the euro crisis and the general fate of the Italian economy:

Analysis: Alfa Romeo reboot marks tough road for Fiat recovery – Reuters

Nevertheless, it may require a miracle to pull off the Fiat chief’s latest gambit: Take his sporty Alfa Romeo brand global with more expensive models and triple its sales volume by 2016 – after years of losses. To add extra spice to the challenge, which takes place as European car sales plummet to 17-year-lows, the new Alfas will be built in Italy, where labor and material costs are far higher than in the United States, Asia or Eastern Europe. The plan is however about far more than the fate of the Alfa brand. It represents the company’s only real hope of combating a collapse in its home market and breathing new life into idled factories. Should it fail, and the new cars flop, the company that Italians view as a cornerstone of their economy will have little choice but to put thousands of employees out of work and tip entire communities into turmoil. Marchionne has form where ailing brands are concerned. The outgoing 60-year old has been widely hailed for his 2009 acquisition and subsequent turnaround of bankrupt U.S. automaker Chrysler. However his announcement late last year of a strategic overhaul of the 103-year-old Alfa Romeo brand – which Fiat acquired in 1986 and has since failed to revive despite repeated attempts – has been greeted with skepticism.

On the other hand, Fiat’s initial focus on the US market materializes with the decision to ship no more than of 1,000 4C models by the end of 2013:

Report: Alfa Romeo 4C will hit top-selling Fiat dealerships first …

When Alfa Romeo makes its triumphant return to the US with the all-new 4C by the end of this year, it appears that some customers could have a hard time getting their hands on one of these sporty little coupes. Automotive News is reporting that not all Fiat dealers will be getting Alfa Romeo franchises, and that allocations of the 4C, at least initially, will be limited to the best-performing dealers. The Italian company plans to ship only 1,000 4C models to the US each year, but it isn’t clear how many Fiat dealers will actually sell Alfa Romeos and which will be the first to sell the 4C. Currently, there are 202 Fiat dealers in the US, and that number is expected to increase to 220 by October. A previous stipulation for its dealers to sell the Alfa Romeo brand was the mandatory inclusion of an attached service department, but this requirement is being pushed back until more Alfa Romeo models are on sale in the US, which should happen in 2015.

Alfa Romeo 4C 1

But also Fiat has a great commercial interest for enhancing its joint venture presence in China by 2014, aiming to sell 300,000 Jeep models:

New GAC-Fiat chief Burton will lead Jeep’s China push – Fox Business

Fiat-Chrysler’s plans to build Jeep into a global brand move forward on Friday when a new executive takes over at the company’s Chinese joint venture to ramp up production of the sports utility vehicle. Chrysler and Chinese automaker Guangzhou Automobile Group  joint venture GAC-Fiat aims to produce over 100,000 new Jeep models in China by as early as 2014, in a move that is key to Italian company’s goal of selling 300,000 vehicles annually in China by next year. Fiat-Chrysler is hoping that Jeep’s wide brand recognition in China will help it catch up to competitors in China, as well as build Jeep’s sales to a new record high. GAC-Fiat has appointed a new general manager, John Burton, as of March 1 replacing Jack Cheng. Burton has nearly 20 years of experience under his belt running plants for General Motors in Poland, Germany and Britain. Most recently, he was in charge of green field projects for GM in Detroit.

On the other hand, Fiat CEO supports the idea of  a Chrysler’s full merge with Fiat concluding in a single company:

Fiat CEO sees 50 percent chance of Chrysler IPO, prefers buyout – Reuters

Sergio Marchionne, the chief executive of both the Italian auto-maker and its majority-owned Chrysler Group LLC unit, said he sees a 50 percent chance that Chrysler will go public but would prefer that it be fully merged with Fiat. The Italian company shares ownership in the smallest U.S. automaker with a retiree trust fund affiliated with the United Auto Workers labor union. Marchionne said he would prefer that Italian automaker Fiat buy the trust fund’s holdings. ”My preference is to be one single company,” Marchionne told reporters in Kokomo, Indiana, on Thursday. “We belong together.” Over the last four years, the two automakers have been blending their operations as Fiat has increased its stake in Chrysler, said Marchionne, who has been CEO of both companies since Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy in 2009. The Italian company, however, has been odds with the trust fund over Chrysler’s worth. The fund is under pressure to squeeze as much value as possible from its Chrysler holding to pay for medical benefits.

Finally, it seems that a full shift to quality is the “secret” solution from solving the tragic euro crisis problem in the European South with a given attention to good products and high prices for covering specific buyers needs, all over the world. Alfa Romeo 4C is to be a good example…

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