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The latest industry gossip: Volkswagen wants Alfa Romeo

By Rigval on 27 Aug 2010

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One of the most bizarre stories to surface recently is that the Volkswagen Group (VW) is seriously interested in buying Alfa Romeo from Fiat S.p.A (Fiat). This rumor surfaced sometime last week where two unnamed VAG executives had stated that the group was interested in Alfa Romeo. In the bid to become the largest automotive manufacturer in the world, or in other words, trying to usurp Toyota from the throne, VW is still on a buying warpath. Hence the supposed need for another car brand like Alfa Romeo.

Of course, Fiat did not take the rumors sitting down and has stated that the company has no intention of selling Alfa Romeo and is sticking to their turnaround plan for the brand that was announced by the Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne in April of this year. He had stated that Alfa will be a full line premium manufacturer and they plan to ramp up sales from 102,000 units in 2009 to around 500,000 units by 2014. Ambitious numbers nonetheless.

Anyway, these industry rumors are really far fetched sometimes. VW CEO Martin Winterkorn had stated in April that VW was in the midst of taking over Porsche and is not planning to add another brand at the moment. VW also recently concluded the purchase of Italian Automotive Design firm Giugiaro and Winterkorn also said that VW’s “appitite for buying in Italy is fully satisfied”.

I suppose there could be some of those in the upper echelons of VW that are Alfa Romeo fans. Maybe this is due to VW recruiting former Alfa design boss Walter de Silva and Luca De Meo, who was a top marketing person in Fiat.

Whatever the story, it looks like VW's buying spree may not have really ended. But when asked directly by Bloomberg on this, the company basically stated that it does not comment on industry rumors.

I somehow believe that before trying to take over a brand from a company that is actually financially able, (Fiat is in the midst of taking over Chrysler group in America) Volkswagen should look internally and sort out Seat. Yes, that Spanish arm of Volkswagen that nobody seems to really care about.

Seat seems to be lost in the hierarchy of VW and should be looked after. A business plan for Seat should be a better short term option as Alfa Romeo seems to be snugly in the arms of Fiat. Unless after 2015 their business plan of selling 500,000 units fail that is as analysts are skeptical about whether Alfa can reach Marchionne's ambitious target of 500,000 annual sales under Fiat.


volkwagen, alfa romeo, fiat and 1 more...

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Written by Rigval
Born in 1972. Married with a kid. Loves B-road drives and have driven cars from the 1950s to date.

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