The top stories from Automotive News Europe's April 28, 1997 edition - and how they developed.
156 success spurs Alfa
The replacement for the Alfa Romeo 155 will debut in October. The new model, code-named project 932, will carry the name 156.
* The 156 led Alfa's revival, establishing itself as a credible Italian alternative to German rivals such as the BMW 3 series and Audi A4. The next 156 will be based on the Premium Vehicle Architecture being developed by Fiat, Opel and Saab in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Agnelli cancer tragedy
Giovanni Alberto Agnelli, designated to run Fiat group in the 21st century, has a rare type of intestinal cancer. Giovanni is the son of Umberto, younger brother of Fiat SpA Honorary Chairman Gianni Agnelli.
* Giovanni Alberto Agnelli died at age 33 on December 13, 1997. He was set to become chairman of Fiat SpA the following year, replacing Cesare Romiti. Giovanni previously led a turnaround of Fiat's Piaggio motorcycle group and was the only Agnelli family member on the Fiat SpA board. In June 1998, Paolo Fresco left his job as vice chairman of General Electric to become Romiti's replacement.
Punto falls to fourth
The Fiat Punto, helped by Italian market incentives, was Europe's best-selling model in the first quarter.
* The Punto sold 166,247 units in January to March 1997; its sales were 140,516 in the first quarter of 2002. The Punto is now Europe's fourth best-selling model, behind the Peugeot 206, VW Golf and Ford Focus.