Despite FCA’s expectations, Alfa Romeo will not return to profit this year, Sergio Marchionne said during the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is still rebuilding the Italian brand, according to Marchionne. “The losses are shrinking, but we need more volumes,” he told Automotive News.
FCA didn’t break out Alfa Romeo’s 2017 financial performance and Marchionne didn’t give a timetable for the brand’s return to profitability.
Last April FCA’s Chief Financial Officer Richard Palmer said that Alfa Romeo would be profitable in the fourth quarter of 2017. Marchionne backed that comment by saying that the Italian brand will turn a profit for 2018, but at the end of last October he appeared more cautious, saying that Alfa Romeo’s US sales were slower than expected and that the brand was also “behind the curve” in China.
FCA isn’t releasing production or sales numbers for its brands, leaving market researchers to make an estimate. JATO Dynamics say that Alfa’s global sales increased from 71,700 cars in 2016 to 118,000 in 2017, while the Fim-Cisl union says that production of Alfa Romeos was increased last year to 150,722 units, from 93,117 in 2016.
Marchionne’s 2014 plan for the revival of the Alfa Romeo brand targeted 400,000 global sales by 2018 and a lineup of eight new models. In 2016, FCA lowered these targets and pushed the date for completing the eight-model range to mid-2020.