Volkswagen is "seriously interested" in buying Alfa Romeo from Fiat, a VW executive tells Automotive News Europe. But Fiat sources say the company has no plans to part with its alluring but troubled Italian brand.
"We have no intention at all of selling the brand to VW," a Fiat insider said.
The source said Fiat is sticking to a turnaround plan for Alfa announced in April by Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne. Helped by six new model launches, Marchionne said he wants to transform Alfa into a "full-line premium carmaker" selling 500,000 units in 2014, up from 102,000 last year. Fiat plans to relaunch Alfa in the United States in 2012.
In April, VW CEO Martin Winterkorn told reporters that he admires Alfa but isn't ready to take on another brand. Still, there are some high-powered Alfa enthusiasts at VW's headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, who might have other ideas. Among them are VW supervisory board chairman Ferdinand Piech and design chief Walter de' Silva, who made his name as Alfa's design director before joining VW in 2000.