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Ok, I'll agree with you. Ferrari/FCA wern't even considering the merger with PSA when they decided to spin out Ferrari. And spinning out Ferrari has nothing to do with the FCA/PSA merger.

Just curious, do you reckon Ferrari envies Alfa's/Maserati's position today? Do you think the folks at Ferrari wish that PSA could appoint their CEO and a new head of design for them? Or that they feel "left behind" without access to Stellantis' platforms?

I can just see Ferrari board meetings, with them kicking themselves because Ferrari doesn't have access to the STLA large platform for future Ferraris (/sarcasm :D). I think, Ferrari(Elkann) was prudent and lucky, and good for them.

Unfortunately for Alfa(IMHO), everything we've heard(saccharine-coated)....they'll be going from Ferrari tech to Peugeot. Some might rejoice about that, other won't. I'm in the latter bunch. IMHO
I mean again the head of Ferrari and the head of FCA and now Chairman of Stellantis are all the same person - John Elkann... sooo unless he has multiple personalities that talk to eachother and make different decisions... its not like he got one over or got lucky with.... himself.

Nobody in their right mind would touch anything Ferrari is doing. If it were still just part of FCA or not, if they were to move Ferrari to global shared platforms their entire purchase user base would not walk but RUN. The people that buy Ferraris, that sell out every special edition that they come out with before they even go on the market, etc, expect a certain exclusivity that Ferrari sells. Thats literally part of the business. Ferrari doesn't sell cars, they sell the experience. Its the car, the dealer, the hats, the t-shirts, the F1 connection etc. There isn't a snowballs chance in hell that even if Ferrari were not spun off it would have any part of this plan.

When Sergio Marchionne decided to bring Alfa back to the US, he wanted to take on BMW/Mercedes/Audi and wanted an "M3/C63 Killer" as a shot across the bow of all 3, and he put the technical director of Ferrari to work on building it. He basically did it in creating the Giulia Quadrifoglio, but Ferrari is not a major engineering house, and the only true "Ferrari Tech" in the car is the 690T engine. The 4 cylinder is the evolution of a Fiat motor.

We have now seen that Giorgio is going to be modified and integrated into this "small medium large" product stack so no it won't be going to Peugeot tech, however for future QV models Ferrari does have quite a bit of KERS type technology that very well could be included, especially because its such low volume. We really just don't know. So yeah is there a possibility of future Alfa models being based off a PSA platform? Yep. But right now there is a Giorgio based Maserati and Jeep Grand Cherokee, and the Tonale is a Jeep platform, likely whatever "small" ends up being it will be developed by Fiat. Most likely if they decide to make a new Mid-large size Peugeot it will be on modified Giorgio, so basically the complete opposite of what you are thinking. My point is, this was already happening and happens with EVERY large volume carmaker.

Immediately assuming that all Alfa Romeos will be rebadged Peugeots is incredibly short sighted, and a massive assumption based upon limited information that directly contradicts it.
 

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@Rogue Leader @Wobu

I didnt realize that Elkann is Chairman of Stellantis. However, I do know some of the history of the Giorgio platform.

From what i've read in the recent reports:
-Head of Alfa design was replaced with some guy from a budget-PSA-brand (obviously needed/s)
-CEO was replaced with a guy from PSA
-They said that Giorgio was not developed with hybrid/EV in mind, and that as 2030 approaches, either Giorgio will be modified(presumably heavily) to be hybrid/EV or switch over to STLA platforms.

I don't recall reading anywhere, that Giorgio will influence new platforms/products (if it will, thats awesome). But everything i've read thus far seems to suggest a flow in the opposite direction. I will admit, i have no idea whats coming, and my pessimism might seem irrational, but this situation isn't "new".... when Fiat stuff (people, tech, etc) heavily influenced Alfa, we know how well that played out(for Alfa), and then a small spark from Marchionne&Ferrari gave us Giorgio. And now, they are seemingly regressing to adopt stuff from the Fiat of France (compounded by the 2030 cutoff).

Like i've said before.... I really hope i'm wrong, and that we get products even better than what we currently have. I just dont think the odds are in favor of that happening.

I'm glad that some of you are more optimistic than I am :)
 

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The new CEO (Imparato) was the right-hand man of Tavares (Stellantis CEO) at PSA.
He is also credited with bringing Peugeot from the brink of bankruptcy to multi-billion earnings.

He is very well respected.
He is a car guy through and through. Both he and Tavares had Alfas as their first vehicles. Loved them to death, according to interviews. Imparato says he was born inside and Alfa, to an Alfa family.

One of the first phone calls Tavares made after Stellantis came to be was to Imparato offering him to head Alfa. His right-hand man, head of a very succesfull Peugeot, and Tavares asked him to take over Alfa. That sound to you like Tavares isn't commited to Alfa?

And Imparato is on record saying: I immediately agreed. I didn't need to advance my career. I was extremely successful at Peugeot. But Alfa is a passion.

This doesn't sound to me like someone coming in to close shop and turn off the lights at Alfa...
 

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@Rogue Leader @Wobu

I didnt realize that Elkann is Chairman of Stellantis. However, I do know some of the history of the Giorgio platform.

From what i've read in the recent reports:
-Head of Alfa design was replaced with some guy from a budget-PSA-brand (obviously needed/s)
-CEO was replaced with a guy from PSA
-They said that Giorgio was not developed with hybrid/EV in mind, and that as 2030 approaches, either Giorgio will be modified(presumably heavily) to be hybrid/EV or switch over to STLA platforms.

I don't recall reading anywhere, that Giorgio will influence new platforms/products (if it will, thats awesome). But everything i've read thus far seems to suggest a flow in the opposite direction. I will admit, i have no idea whats coming, and my pessimism might seem irrational, but this situation isn't "new".... when Fiat stuff (people, tech, etc) heavily influenced Alfa, we know how well that played out(for Alfa), and then a small spark from Marchionne&Ferrari gave us Giorgio. And now, they are seemingly regressing to adopt stuff from the Fiat of France (compounded by the 2030 cutoff).

Like i've said before.... I really hope i'm wrong, and that we get products even better than what we currently have. I just dont think the odds are in favor of that happening.

I'm glad that some of you are more optimistic than I am :)
The new Alfa head of design was hired away from Renault.
PSA guy turned Peugeot from money loser to profitable. Alfa needs profitable. And supposedly he LOVES Alfa.
That is true about Giorgio, however by 2030 Giorgio will be 15 years old. It will be well on its way to dead or highly modified by then. They have already said it will be modified to be hybrid/EV. Its going to be part of STLA.

Lets be honest, the idea of Alfa taking on BMW/Mercedes/Audi in hindsight seems pretty dumb. They made a great first impression with an absolutely killer car, but dropped the ball well before any of this merger stuff went down. Product needed to be developed faster, dealerships needed to be more plentiful and less crappy, and they needed to have something to entice people away ("Ferrari engine" only goes so far, enthusiasts don't keep the company in business), like a killer warranty. None of that happened.

It can still be an alternative to B/M/A lower end offerings and that seems to be the goal with Maserati taking on the higher level 7 series/S-Class/hypercar type of offerings. Don't forget B/M/A are all going through a similar electrified transition, just with a lot more products.
 
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Posted today (May 6, 2021)

A couple of quotes:
"Larry Dominique, who two months ago was given the reigns of Alfa Romeo North America after spending the past four years working on a stillborn plan to reintroduce Peugeot to the U.S. ..."

On Giorgio:
"One thing is certain: the Giorgio platform underpinning the Giulia and Stelvio will be short-lived;"
"It’s a very complex platform,” says Dominique. “It’s a great platform but high cost and relatively low volume. The economies of scale of that platform are not great.”

"An Alfa-branded sports car to replace the 4C is, at this moment, a distant dream."...

sigh

@Wobu @Rogue Leader
I don't have any issues with these guys personally. But, maybe its just me, everything they are saying is about cost-cutting, revenue and market-share. Not about fast-cars, racing, design, etc. If "success" is the destination, I guess I just prefer the kind of products that came from Marchionne's path, over the kind of products that come from the(alleged) new direction.
 

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So he's a bean counter.
The new CEO (Imparato) was the right-hand man of Tavares (Stellantis CEO) at PSA.
He is also credited with bringing Peugeot from the brink of bankruptcy to multi-billion earnings.
...
 

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Posted today (May 6, 2021)
I don't have any issues with these guys personally. But, maybe its just me, everything they are saying is about cost-cutting, revenue and market-share. Not about fast-cars, racing, design, etc. If "success" is the destination, I guess I just prefer the kind of products that came from Marchionne's path, over the kind of products that come from the(alleged) new direction.
Marchoinnes path got us where we are right now. The cars aren't selling. Products are getting cancelled (GTV etc) because people aren't buying cars. He mentions the dealer network issue and other issues there.

Make no mistake, car companies are a business not a charity. Success is the destination that involves, revenue, market share, etc. A good leader will find a way into those things, while incorporating what makes Alfa, Alfa.
 

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Immediately assuming that all Alfa Romeos will be rebadged Peugeots is incredibly short sighted, and a massive assumption based upon limited information that directly contradicts it.
If it can be compared Audi as an evolution of Volkswagen, then I am more optimistic.

If it's Lexus as an evolution of Toyota, I will just go buy a Toyota. That's not to say that Lexus is a bad brand, but the vast majority of its stable is a rebadged Toyota and it shows. It's like taking your wife out on a date. You married the Toyota, but she can sex herself up and become the Lexus... And that's great... She's reliable, comfortable, and when she puts on her makeup and the dress she looks pretty damn good too. She may not be the new Giulia, and that's okay. She doesn't turn as many heads but she still gets noticed and you know for the long term she won't let you down. The Giulia comes with problems... Higher maintenance cost... Maybe even a little bit of a stigma... And that's what I want in a car. Every time I drive it, I want that high class escort to rock my world and blow my socks off. Every time I slip inside of it, I want the nail digging, adrenaline pumping, "so fun it's wrong" experience. I want to ride in my car like the high class whore it is. I can't do that the Lexus. I won't be able to do it with the Lexus. I married my wife but I bought my car and I want to drive it like I paid for it.

Okay... I have the 2L so maybe it's not a super high class escort... But at least I'm not embarrassed to brag to my friends the next day about it.

Long off topic analogy aside... I guess what I am trying to say is that large mergers like this have rarely proven to be good to the consumer in the long run. Stellantis has flat out stated that they are moving Alfa to their global platform. We will see what comes of this, but badge engineering has proven to be a lot more profitable to brands than having every one of them eat its own engineering costs through and through.

Maybe you're a glass half full kind of guy? Mentally, emotionally... It's better to be prepared for disappointment and be pleasantly surprised as opposed to being let down. As my father always said... Hope is disappointment delayed.

I cannot speak for anyone else but I will try to keep an open mind. I've just seen too many brands (across all industry) go from quality/cool to Target fodder over acquisitions and mergers to be super optimistic when they say "global platform."
 

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This thread too went from straw to gold.
 

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Marchoinnes path got us where we are right now. The cars aren't selling. Products are getting cancelled (GTV etc) because people aren't buying cars. He mentions the dealer network issue and other issues there.

Make no mistake, car companies are a business not a charity. Success is the destination that involves, revenue, market share, etc. A good leader will find a way into those things, while incorporating what makes Alfa, Alfa.
I personally don’t think the cars built on Giorgio(Giulia and Stelvio) are to blame for lower than expected sales. In fact, of all the possible reasons, the cars would probably be at the bottom of that list. But for argument sake, if we assume they are to blame, how is making cars on “cheaper” “generic” platforms, going to improve the numbers? By that argument Fiat sales should be through the roof, right? (they're not).

I suppose thats at the core of the issue IMHO. Of all the things they could address to supposedly improve sales they’re going after the one thing in the equation thats best-in-class(Giorgio). Tavares, Imparato, Dominique …. All PSA guys. I guess i shouldn’t be surprised that they’re trying to push the platform(s) their company has been working on for years over a better, purpose-built platform.

IMHO
PS> I’m hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. And thats all I've got to say about that.
 

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Just saw this article posted today
Enzo Ferrari was rather unique. He built road cars when he needed them to generate revenue for racing. Racing was always his passion(he actually used to be a driver, he brought his buddy Ugo to drive with him and Ascari at Alfa)
as a company under his leadership, he would have probably been canned if it were a public company at that time, he made zero $$$, hence the partnership in 69 with Agnelli & FIAT.
different world today....
 

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If it can be compared Audi as an evolution of Volkswagen, then I am more optimistic.

If it's Lexus as an evolution of Toyota, I will just go buy a Toyota. That's not to say that Lexus is a bad brand, but the vast majority of its stable is a rebadged Toyota and it shows.
Massive differences. Audi and VW were separate companies whom gradually merged in the 60's (by VW just buying up shares until they owned all of it). They do keep their product lines distinct as they realize the value of it.

Lexus OTOH is very much a made up brand. Toyota decided they wanted to sell luxury cars, Americans don't want to buy a Luxury car with the Toyota name plate, and so Lexus is born. Nissan did the same with Infiniti, Honda with Acura, and this even just happened with Hyundai creating Genesis. They are all just rebadged, and outside the US they are sold as the parent name plate. Its literally a product of American's need to show off a status symbol.

That said, its not a bad strategy, premium car should have a premium experience... one of the failings of Alfa in many places.

Long off topic analogy aside... I guess what I am trying to say is that large mergers like this have rarely proven to be good to the consumer in the long run. Stellantis has flat out stated that they are moving Alfa to their global platform. We will see what comes of this, but badge engineering has proven to be a lot more profitable to brands than having every one of them eat its own engineering costs through and through.

Maybe you're a glass half full kind of guy? Mentally, emotionally... It's better to be prepared for disappointment and be pleasantly surprised as opposed to being let down. As my father always said... Hope is disappointment delayed.
There is a massive difference between platform sharing and badge engineering. To use your earlier example Audi and VW platform share and make very different cars. Chrysler used to be MASTERS of badge engineering (GM too) and where did it get them? Bankrupt and crying for handouts from the government.

I'm not a glass half full kinda guy, I'm a realist. The reality is we know about 20% of the story, the rest is behind closed doors. But we also know badge engineering failed VERY hard for these guys in the past, if you sell the same crappy car with 3 different nameplates all you do it take sales away from yourself. And reduce the amount of conquests you make over other brands.

I personallydon’t think the cars built on Giorgio(Giulia and Stelvio) are to blame for lower than expected sales. In fact, of all the possible reasons, the cars would probably be at the bottom of that list.
But for argument sake, if we assume they are to blame, how is making cars on “cheaper” “generic” platforms, going to improve the numbers? By that argument Fiat sales should be through the roof, right? (they're not).

I suppose thats at the core of the issue IMHO. Of all the things they could address to supposedly improve sales they’re going after the one thing in the equation thats best-in-class(Giorgio).

Tavares, Imparato, Dominique …. All PSA guys. I guess i shouldn’t be surprised that they’re trying to push the platform(s) their company has been working on for years over a better, purpose-built platform.

IMHO
PS> I’m hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. And thats all I've got to say about that.
I don't blame the cars at all, IMO the cars in general aren't the problem, Giulia and Stelvio are excellent. The dealer network, the sales strategies, and lets be honest the initial quality all did them in.

Reducing the cost to manufacture (by using a shared platform for example) increases profits. Increased profits is more to spend on engineering, refreshes, new models etc.
 

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What is a platform in the modern world?
 

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I always saw Audis as rebadged VWs or Skodas with higher quality plastics.
 

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The personalities are interesting, but Stellantis (like all global car companies) have some great people. I find it interesting that John Elkann also happens to be the grandson of Gianni Agnelli who is basically Exor who owns all this.

But EV changes everything. It will be hard to differentiate with EV platforms. A battery is a battery and an electric motor is an electric motor. But we have a long way to go as what EV technology we have today will be long gone, and cars based on the Giorgio platform will still be driving around. So massive investment is required in everything from battery tech, to motors but mainly platforms and charging networks. Tesla has shown it is a landgrab right now. So M&A gives scale. it is that simple.

I don't think Stellantis are domed. way to early to say, but I do know I don't like Tesla as all i see is an IPad when I get in, so there is an open market for someone who can give me the same feeling I get when I drive my GTA on a next gen platform. If Alfa can give me that I'll buy one, if they give me an Italian Tesla I won't.
 

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There is a massive difference between platform sharing and badge engineering. To use your earlier example Audi and VW platform share and make very different cars. Chrysler used to be MASTERS of badge engineering (GM too) and where did it get them? Bankrupt and crying for handouts from the government.

I'm not a glass half full kinda guy, I'm a realist. The reality is we know about 20% of the story, the rest is behind closed doors. But we also know badge engineering failed VERY hard for these guys in the past, if you sell the same crappy car with 3 different nameplates all you do it take sales away from yourself. And reduce the amount of conquests you make over other brands.
This is true to a large extent. Many of the excess brands were rightfully cut from the lineups, but you still have GMC/Chevy/Cadillac, Ford/Lincoln, and Chrysler/Dodge here in the US. This is much more appropriate IMO than the seemingly endless brands that existed before.

You also, as you mentioned, have the Japanese brands pushing Toyota/Lexus, Honda/Acura, and Nissan/Infinity. You also have the Korean Hyundai/Kia now offering Genesis as its own standalone brand. So to imply badge engineering is a dead idea is not true. You have a new merger/acquisition with a lot of brands now to manage. I could see Alfa turning into a "Mercury" for Fiat and that would just kill me. Like you, I do not have a Crystal ball... But the minus Nissan, the Japanese automakers are killing it and Stellantis could be looking to emulate some of what they are doing for the profits.

I don't blame the cars at all, IMO the cars in general aren't the problem, Giulia and Stelvio are excellent. The dealer network, the sales strategies, and lets be honest the initial quality all did them in.
Agreed. I do not envy their marketing team their job, but I also do not believe that they did the brand justice at all. Press vehicles had a ton of issues, and they were never able to get journalist to steer away from the "reliability problems" talking point that shows up in every article. I work in manufacturing (in a very different industry) so I know that things do not always go your way, especially with first production models... But there really is not an excuse for how many issues they had especially since they should have known reliability was obviously going to be one of the largest talking points. I'm one month and 1500 miles in with no issues on my Giulia, but I leased the car because basically every review says it cannot be trusted for longterm reliability. After lurking here and seeing how issue free the car actually is, I am strongly considering buying the next one when this lease is up... But I almost went another direction and didn't even want to test drive one (why would I test drive a car I'd never buy due to reliability?). I'm glad I did test drive because the car rocks. Alfa should have put these on Dodge lots and had everyone shopping for a Challenger or Charger drive one. Sometimes you don't know what you should actually be cross shopping until it's shoved in your face (I wasn't looking at Alfas).[/QUOTE]


Reducing the cost to manufacture (by using a shared platform for example) increases profits. Increased profits is more to spend on engineering, refreshes, new models etc.
This is true. And you are right about the Audi/Volkswagen vs. Toyota/Lexus points which is why I said I would be much more optimistic if that was the case. At the end of the day, money talks... I can guarantee you that similar discussions as to the one we are having right now have taken place in executive meetings as they decide how to best use the brand. Time will tell...
 

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You also, as you mentioned, have the Japanese brands pushing Toyota/Lexus, Honda/Acura, and Nissan/Infinity. You also have the Korean Hyundai/Kia now offering Genesis as its own standalone brand. So to imply badge engineering is a dead idea is not true. You have a new merger/acquisition with a lot of brands now to manage. I could see Alfa turning into a "Mercury" for Fiat and that would just kill me. Like you, I do not have a Crystal ball... But the minus Nissan, the Japanese automakers are killing it and Stellantis could be looking to emulate some of what they are doing for the profits.
Let's have a clearer definition of Platform sharing vs. badge engineering, shall we?

Platform sharing:
  • The underlying components (e.g. major parts such as the engine & drive train, suspension design, etc, and miscellaneous bits, such as knobs & buttons, hinges, nuts & bolts, etc.) are shared
  • Primary visual design elements such as body, dashboard, center console, etc., are not shared
  • e.g. VW Golf/Jetta and Audi A3/TT
Badge engineering:
  • Underlying components as well as primary visual design elements, such as body, dashboard, center console, etc., are shared
  • The differentiation often being just minor differences in trim pieces such as grille, bumpers, lights, and maybe more luxurious materials inside.
  • Same car being re-branded in different markets e.g. some of the Lexus/Toyota models
  • e.g. Most Mercury/Ford products of the 80's and 90's.
So, by those definitions, badge engineering bad, platform sharing good. I think we can all agree on that?

Now, based on the previous announcement of Alfa/Lancia/DS are jointly developing cars, the likelihood of Alfa turning into a "Mercury" for Fiat is pretty much nil. In fact even right now the Alfa/Fiat has almost zero target market overlap. However those 3 same brands Alfa/Lancia/DS will definitely be platform sharing, and if they are not smart about it, badge engineering.
 
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That is so not true. And the characteristics of a car are still so much determined by what's between the motion generation and motion delivery.
But EV changes everything. It will be hard to differentiate with EV platforms. A battery is a battery and an electric motor is an electric motor.
 
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