Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne had previously outlined plans to boost Alfa Romeo’s sales from 74,000 units in 2013 to 400,000 units by 2018, but a decrease in the number of cars being sold in China has forced the automaker to go back to the drawing board, The Detroit News reports.
Marchionne said the goal of selling 400,000 units by 2018 is still “achievable,” during a conference call Wednesday, but also noted China’s slowing economy has caused the automaker to reassess where the growth may come from. As a result, Fiat Chrysler may now change what future products get launched when, as markets such as North America and Europe buy up different vehicles than China.
Fiat Chrysler last year outlined plans to dump $6 billion into Alfa Romeo in order to bring eight new models to market before 2020. They may have put their money where their mouth is, but some industry experts aren’t entirely convinced the company can achieve its ambitious goals.
“Talk of a dramatic improvement in FCA profitability, driven by Alfa – or attributing a big value to the brand – is misguided in our view,” Bernstein Research analyst Max Warburton wrote to The Detroit News. “Despite our love of Alfa’s past, we’re unconvinced by its future.”
The first vehicle in Alfa Romeo’s product offensive, the Giulia compact sedan, was unveiled in June. The BMW 3-Series fighter is expected to be joined by a mid-size crossover sometime between 2016 and 2018, however it’s not clear if recent revelations out of China will have an effect on its launch.