Skip to main content

Would FCA sell its iconic Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands?

2016 Alfa Romeo 4C
In the automotive world, few names are more iconic than Alfa Romeo and Maserati. But could parent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) be willing to sell them?

Both brands have checkered recent histories, and FCA has made efforts to revive Alfa and Maserati. Yet some analysts believe FCA may simply cut the two Italian brands loose in order to improve its financial health, according to Forbes. Current CEO Sergio Marchionne plans to retire in 2018, and hopes to leave FCA profitable and without much debt. Selling Alfa and Maserati could accomplish that, analysts say.

Sales of the two Italian automakers, as well as parts division Magneti Marelli, could make FCA debt free, Alexander Haissl, an analyst with Berenberg Bank, said. The sale of Maserati alone could net $3.6 billion to $4.8 billion, enough to offset most of FCA’s current debt, Haissl added. He believes Magneti Marelli could bring in $2.3 billion to $3.7 billion. Samsung has reportedly shown interest in the division.

It’s unclear whether FCA would actually sell Alfa, given that it just invested significantly in two high-volume models: the Giulia sedan and Stelvio SUV. Both are part of a much-discussed, and much-delayed, plan to revive Alfa as a mainstream automaker. The rear-wheel drive platform used by both models is also expected to be employed by Dodge for future versions of the Charger and Challenger.

Maserati recently got its Levante SUV, which will help the brand take advantage of the public’s seemingly insatiable appetite for utility vehicles. But the rest of the automaker’s lineup is older, and doesn’t hold up as well to the competition. FCA hasn’t been as aggressive with expansion plans for Maserati as it has for Alfa, although it keeps promising a sports car based on the well-received Alfieri concept that first appeared back in 2014.

FCA already spun off Ferrari in 2015, offering 10 percent of its 90-percent stake in the legendary automaker on the New York Stock Exchange (founder Enzo Ferrari’s son Piero kept his 10-percent stake). FCA CEO Marchionne still runs Ferrari, though.

Editors' Recommendations

Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
How Alfa Romeo plans to conquer North America one Stelvio at a time
2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti Lusso Q4 review front close

Alfa Romeo is an Italian luxury automaker that hasn’t sold a mass-volume model in this country in almost 25 years, since the 1995 164 sedan. So it’s exciting for those who are looking for something different to the typical offerings from Germany (BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi), and Japan (Lexus, Infiniti, Acura).

However, launching a new car brand in one of the most competitive car markets in the world is no easy feat. Not too long ago, we took up the opportunity to have lunch with the director for Alfa Romeo’s North American operations, Pieter Hogeveen, in Manhattan. There, we sat down with Mr. Hogeveen for an exclusive interview to see what the plan is for the coming years.

Read more
Alfa Romeo returns to Formula One with Ferrari-powered C37 race car
alfa romeo sauber c37 formula one race car alfaromeo front 3 4

Alfa Romeo is returning to Formula One after more than 30 years away, as the title sponsor of the Swiss Sauber team. The newly unveiled Alfa Romeo Sauber C37 is the car that will bring the legendary Italian automaker back to F1 circuits and, like all 2018 F1 cars, it has an important new safety feature.

All 2018 F1 cars are required to have the so-called "halo," a safety device designed to prevent driver head injuries. Consisting of a ring around the cockpit supported by a strut in front, the halo was chosen last year after tests of a windshield-like alternative produced unsatisfactory results. The halo has proven controversial because of its looks, as well as concerns about how it might impact performance and the ability of drivers to get out of a car in an emergency.

Read more
Alfa Romeo plans new large, mild-hybridized SUV with 400 horsepower
2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti

Now that Alfa Romeo’s officially back in the United States market to sell cars en masse, the big question still remains: “What’s next?” The company launched its latest effort, the all-new Giulia compact luxury sports sedan, back in 2016, marking its first re-entry into the North American mass market since the 164 sedan, last sold here as a 1995 model.

Although Alfa Romeo technically initiated its North American reintroduction with the exotic, and limited production 8C in 2008, followed by the low-volume 4C sports coupe and roadster, it’s high-volume cars like the Giulia sedan that truly determine the automaker’s success. But even today, making an extremely competitive luxury sports sedan -- which also happened to win the latest MotorTrend’s Car of the Year award -- still isn’t enough to guarantee Alfa Romeo’s stay. The solution: Expand its lineup to take advantage of the still hot and popular crossover SUV craze, which they started with the current Stelvio.

Read more