Porsche boss rebukes Fiat on Alfa Romeo
DETROIT, Michigan — Fiat’s cherished Alfa Romeo brand could be headed for the scrapyard if the Italian company fails to get its act into gear, the boss of German luxury sports carmaker Porsche said Tuesday.
“They are not able to manage their brands,” said new Porsche chief executive, Matthias Mueller, rebuking Fiat which has repeatedly said its Alfa Romeo brand is not for sale.
“I don’t understand what they are doing,” said Mueller, who was previously a boss at Volkswagen which is interested in buying the Alfa Romeo.
“If they continue in the next months and years in the same way, Alfa Romeo will die,” he added on the sidelines of the North American Auto Show. “It would be a pity, if it would die.”
Volkswagen chief executive Martin Winterkorn repeated on Monday that the leading German automaker, which already has 10 brands, would be interested in acquiring Alfa Romeo.
“It would be a good brand,” added Mueller.
Fiat and Chrysler chief executive Sergio Marchionne insisted on Monday that the group was not planning to sell Alfa Romeo, but replied that his company would instead be interested in buying VW’s truck division.
On Monday, Fiat increased its stake in Chrysler to 25 per cent from 20 per cent as part of a deal signed after the iconic US brand emerged from bankruptcy in 2009 and it has an option to boost the stake to 51 per cent.