Marchionne: Alfa's still not for sale
Marchionne is expected to unveil Alfa’s new timetable this month.
The German business magazine Focus says Volkswagen executives have been touring Fiat's Mirafiori, Cassino, Melfi and Pomigliano plants in Italy, the factories where Alfa Romeo cars are made. So is Alfa really on the block this time, and is VW the likely buyer?
Nope, nothing has changed on that front, says Chrysler-Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne.
Since VW Chairman Ferdinand Piech said two years ago that Alfa would be a "lucky" 13th brand to add to VW Group's portfolio, Marchionne has denied that Fiat will sell the money-losing sports car brand.
VW still sounds intrigued by the idea.
"It's no secret that we consider Alfa Romeo to be an interesting marque," VW spokesman Eric Felber told the Italian press agency ANSA.
But at an industry conference in Italy last week, Marchionne said: "Alfa Romeo is not for sale."
Piech retorted at the German carmaker's reception at the Paris auto show that VW "can wait" for Alfa. Marchionne reiterated the next day that the brand isn't for sale, then added: "Do I have to say it in German?"
Meanwhile, the timing of Alfa's return to the United States is still up in the air. On Oct. 30, Marchionne is scheduled to unveil a new timetable for Alfa Romeo's upcoming models and international expansion plans.
Alfa's full return was scheduled for mid-2013 with a compact crossover. The Giulia mid-sized sedan would have followed by the end of 2013 at the earliest. But none of those models seems to be on schedule.