For Marchionne, Volkswagen acquiring Alfa Romeo and Ferrari is just a dream

by Alex

Volkswagen AG’s chairman Ferdinand Piech has openly expressed his interest in acquiring Alfa Romeo as well as purchasing the Ferrari from Fiat SpA. In response to this, Sergio Marchionne, Fiat’s CEO and Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen AG’s CEO described the sale of Alfa Romeo and Ferrari brands to the German car maker as simply a “dream”.

Marchionne, at an event in Turin, Italy said that Volkswagen’s interest in Ferrari and Alfa Romeo are “nice dreams”. Sources also confirmed Winterkorn saying that “Alfa Romeo is just a dream” and the brand “makes gorgeous cars, nothing more”. Thus nipping Piech’s plans to monitor Fiat’s position on Alfa Romeo and eventually buy the brand.

In spite of all this Piech stated in October that they are patient and would wait for at least a couple of years, when questioned regarding his plans for the Alfa Romeo. Not just Piech but, Volkswagen’s design director Walter De’Silva also called Alfa, his “Secret love” and claimed he would want to have it in Volkswagen’s stable of brands.

As a counter to Piech’s statement regarding waiting, Marchionne at the Paris Motor Show told the press to “let them wait.” Later at the event in Turin, he repeated that acquiring Alfa Romeo by Volkswagen is just a dream and insisted that the car brand is not for sale. He also stated that he had no intention of selling the brand but instead wants to rebuild the brand by developing new models and re-entering the US market. Alfa Romeo had last left the US market in 1995 and has been away ever since. The company stated that it needs to deliver at least 300,000 cars a year to make a profit and they expect to reach this goal by 2013. This goal seems rather ambitious considering the fact that Alfa Romeo sold only 102,000 vehicles last year.

According to a Sanford C Bernstein analysis in London last month, Fiat is probably losing 300 million Euros (410 million dollars) annually. The exact figures are not available as Fiat does not provide separate figures for Alfa Romano. Ferrari on the other hand is doing well with rise of 46 percent in its EBIT in the third quarter. Its EBIT for the third quarter is 76 million Euros. Fiat owns 90 percent stake in Ferrari and Marchionne confirmed that he had no plans to sell the unit.

But the other executives in Volkswagen are not so convinced about Marchionne’s plans to turn around Alfa Romeo. One of the senior executives was quoted saying that if the plan falters, they would be there to pick up the pieces. But whether the pieces are that of Ferrari or Alfa Romeo, nobody is sure as of now. Looks like they sure will be around when the plan fails. It appears as if Ferrari was Volkswagen’s real target all along. Ferrari Fiat’s most profitable brand is valued between 2.3 and 3.5 million Euros.

Whatever the case, Piech’s dreams to acquire Ferrari still remain intact. Let’s see if they come true.

Source: 4wheelsnews

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