Fiat, perhaps in an effort to save Alfa Romeo and also cut production costs, has announced that three of its most sporty brands –Abarth, Alfa Romeo and Maserati — will merge into a single brand group.
Automobile Magazine reports the Italian automaker could hav made the move because it believes there are certain synergies between the names. If these brands can share in production costs, for example, then production and development costs overall can be reduced.
Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has asked Maserati and Abarth CEO Harald Wester to direct the new group.
Currently, Alfa Romeo and Maserati share one platform, the underpins for the Alfa Romeo 8C Competitzione and Maserati Gran Turismo. In addition, Abarth and Alfa both use the Fiat SCCS platform for the Punto Abarth and the MiTo.
Our take? One thing is for certain. Something needs to be done to stop the fiscal losses of Alfa Romeo. There are reports that the brand has lost between $281 million and $566 million a year for the last 10 years. Fiat is trying to decide on one of two alternatives to save Alfa, freeze investment in new models or use Chrysler platforms to create replacements for the 159 and 166. A decision is expected to be made on a strategic review including this issue in mid April.