It seems that VW may be looking to buy an Italian brand, if reports from Autonews is to be believed, despite there being word in the past that VW already had all the brands it can handle. Two VW executives have said that VW are “seriously interested” in buying Alfa Romeo.
Another unidentified manager at VW also revealed to Automobilwoche: “Alfa is a globally recognized brand with sporty genes and a great tradition. If such a treasure could be had, we must not hesitate… too long.” This comes despite Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn stating: “Our appetite for buying in Italy is fully satisfied.”
As much as VW would like to buy the Italian brand, parent company Fiat aren’t interested in selling. A high-ranking Fiat exec revealed to the publication, “We have no intention at all of selling the brand to Volkswagen,” opting to stick to the turnaround plan Fiat (and Chrysler) has laid out for Alfa Romeo.
This would involve selling 500,000 Alfa Romeos a year, which is said to be an ambitious target if still under Fiat. ”Maybe Alfa could get to a half million unit sales a year, but only after the brand is sold to Volkswagen,” said one analyst from Credit Suisse automotive research department.
”Alfa plans to sell 85,000 units in the United States in 2014, therefore Fiat’s plan really means it wants to boost sales in Europe from 100,000 units to more than 400,000. I do not see how they will be able to steal so many buyers from their German competitors, “ said another analyst in Milan, laying out the facts.
Unfortunately no one really knows the Alfa’s financial predicament at the moment, as Fiat doesn’t separate financial results for its brands, but sources say that Alfa has lost between 200 million and 400 million Euros a year over the past 10 years. Thus if Fiat’s turnaround plan for Alfa doesn’t work, VW could be a viable option for the company.