Alfa Romeo & Chrysler given 10 years to prove their worth

I knew this day would come

We don't know what lies ahead for Stellantis, but we do know what the two car groups that formed this new giant, PSA and FCA, are leaving behind. Under Tavares leadership, PSA brought back the 'DS' namesake from the dead and revamped Opel and Peugeot; by contrast, with the exception of Jeep, most brands that (used to) comprise FCA are fundamentally worse off than it was before the Fiat-Chrysler partnership began. When it comes to Stellantis, everybody talks about a 'merger', but we should remember that 6 of 11 members of the board, and the CEO Carlos Tavares, come from PSA.

In an interview with Autocar, Tavares was clear: Alfa and Chrysler have ten years to get their act together. "We're giving each a chance, giving each a time window of ten years and giving funding for ten years to do a core model strategy. The CEOs need to be clear in brand promise, customers, targets and brand communications," Tavares said. ""If they succeed, great. Each brand is given the chance to do something different and appeal to customers."

The potential is enormous but too many mistakes have been made and time is running out. The Giulia is a prime example, it is a fantastic car but a terrible product. Everybody loved it, no one bought one. Chrysler's position is perhaps even worse. It only has two models, three if we count the 300, none of them are selling very well and, unlike Alfa, they can't even appeal to petroheads anymore.

Jean-Philippe Imparato, former Peugeot boss and current CEO of Alfa, is already trying to turn the tide with the new STLA Large architecture, a platform that Alfa will use to build a variety of different vehicles that should boost sales. The Tonale will soon join the Giulia and the Stelvio in the line-up, followed by the Brennero and the Milano.

It's sad to see these legendary brands wither but unfortunately, in the current automotive landscape, giant car groups like Stellantis have to work hard to make sure each brand they own has a purpose and can stand on its feet in terms of commercial performance and/or profitability.

Join In

Comments (63)

  • I really hope Alfa survives. As for Chrysler, I think their time is up

      30 days ago
    • Ditto. What does Chrysler even make these days? The 300? Just a rebadged charger. And the Pacifica is a nice enough van, but are they going to survive on van sales? It's almost like they have to start with little or nothing at this point and try...

      Read more
        29 days ago
    • Exactly. They’ve also lost a lot of their following over the past 10-30 years

        29 days ago
  • Alfa will survive because Italians (myself included) are just too damn proud of their heritage. Several other Italian brands have just turned into boutiques for high end "art" instead of actual vehicles. Moto Guzzi has been passed around as a hot potato, Ducati is now under the VW group, I'm still not sure how Aprillia has made it this far. Lancia hasn't made anything hot since the 90's and even then is was just an evolution of a car from their 80's hayday. FCA needs to do with Alfa what VW did with Lambo. Focus on racing heritage. Let the designers go crazy, and build outlandish but fast cars. Use it as a test bed for their racing teams/ other technology. Even if the branch submits a loss every quarter, as long as you can implement their RESEARCH across the portfolio to make money elsewhere, its worth it. Hell VW group got so much benefit from the lightweight tech that Ducati brought them that that may have been worth the purchase alone. Chrysler should just be a Dodge luxury trim level at best as this point. all their cars have confused heritage and nothing stands out.

      29 days ago
    • Chrysler was the brand that competed with Cadillac back in the day. Although it was seen as a third place contender. Dodge was the luxury brand to Plymouth. Chrysler sort of stands to the side of Dodge in some regards concerning the past.

      As...

      Read more
        29 days ago
  • They both lost the recipe some time ago. Chrysler, I couldn't care about. Alfa, I hope they make it. Get back to the recipe of lightweight, nicely styled, fun to drive, not-German machines, and I'll buy one.

      29 days ago
  • What needs to happen is that Alfa need to be allowed to make small, affordable, nippy sportscars using tuned stockbin parts and leave power saloons to BMW. Take the turds that PSA makes and polish them!

      29 days ago
  • Alfa are being forced to become a mainstream brand and they haven't ever really been that, and when they have tried recently they never had anything over the Germans in that perspective and never will. They make great cars but you can't expect them to become a large volume manafactuer in the segments Stellantis are pushing. Alfa of old were like the Jaaaaaaaaag of old and they both should keep to their respective places in the automotive World.

      29 days ago
    • Not quite right. In Alfa's heyday (late 60s-early 70s) they made and sold huge volumes of cars (Berlinas, Giulias etc) in Italy. In the late 90s and noughties, the 156 was also a relatively high volume sales success in Europe and parts of the...

      Read more
        28 days ago
63