2011 Lancia Ypsilon/Chrysler small hatchback

MacGuffin

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Well, Marchionne's goal was to sell 300,000 Alfa Romeos in 2010. They sold about 130,000, if I remember correctly. Success is something else. And looks are a matter of taste. Persoally I think the current Alfa design looks like a car from a Donald Duck comicbook.

If Alfa would be well, do you really think the Alfa workers would ask to be bought by Volkswagen?
 
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Pedrocas

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I wonder if Fiat boss Marchionne really knows, what he is doing...

Obvously his current strategy for growth of FIAT is to conquer the American market -- an ambitious and risky venture, since he is almost doing nothing else besides that, to make FIAT fit for future survival. I don't know if it will work out for FIAT but when your cars have a serious identity problem, it's never a good start to begin with.

Obviously Marchionne has no creative idea, what to do with the traditional brands Lancia and Alfa Romeo. And quite frankly I start to believe, that FIAT never understood Lancia or Alfa at all, since both companies have been completely run down by now: Lancia is now functioning as a vehicle for importing Chryslers under its badge (which won't really work, of that I'm absolutely sure), while Alfa Romeo has been completely neglected.

If you really want to understand, how desperate people at Alfa Romeo are, how much they hate being a part of FIAT, then you only have to look at recent events. Workers, unionists and worker's council have actually begged Volkswagen to buy Alfa Romeo.

I'm not kidding, they really did that. They really said "Please, Mr. Piech! Buy us! We don't want to be part of FIAT anymore, we want to be part of Volkswagen!" If you know the pride of Italians towards their car industry, you can tell how desperate they must be.

VW is of course very much interested and probably would buy Alfa Romeo tomorrow -- they already have the first layouts of future Alfas in their drawers. The owner family of FIAT also would like to sell but FIAT CEO Marchionne obviously would rather let Alfa Romeo die, before selling Alfa Romeo to Mr. Piech.

I know that many think Marchionne is a good manager and maybe has saved FIAT from being bankrupt already but it's clear to me, that he has no idea what to make of the traditional brands, that are owned by FIAT.

When I look at the whole picture, including the purchase of Chrysler and what Marchionne is planning (or not planning) to do with the rich heritage under the roof of his company, I can only assume, that he is ambitious but rubbish.

I don't know what's worst, having Alfa being run by FIAT or letting VW buy it, though. Just look at what SEAT is now under VW. What could VW do for Alfa that FIAT can't? The problem with Alfa right now is the lack of so many cars like a new 159-type model, a new 169-type model and a SUV. FIAT needs to make this happen fast, because Alfa has everything to turn into FIAT's Audi. The Mito is a success, the Giulietta is selling a lot, but those two cars aren't enough.
 

Jens

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Marchionne's goal was optimistic, not to say unatainable. From what I've read the Alfa workes were concerned by the fact that they will have to share platforms with the other brands (Fiat, Lancia and Chrysler) but I don't see how that would be different at Volkswagen. Alfa is slowly but steadily increasing its revenue, and by entering the American market I can see them achieving their goal in a couple of years time. Being bought by Volkswagen won't give them instant success either. It's not like they need to fire thousands of workers nor do I think said workers are being underpayed (I'm looking at you GM, closing the Opel factory in Belgium).
 

MacGuffin

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I don't know what's worst, having Alfa being run by FIAT or letting VW buy it, though. Just look at what SEAT is now under VW.

I quite like the current SEAT models. I like the design. I remember what SEAT was in the 1970's and 1980's. Without VW the brand probably wouldn't exist anymore at all today.

The bitter truth ist: Alfa Romeo has been run down that much by today, that almost nothing of the old Alfa spirit is left. It's gone. Completely. Ask an Alfa fan of old, what he things of the Alfas of today. I mean, there were times, when Alfa Romeos were compared with BMW's and won the competition, for crying loud loud! Today Alfas are compared with VW Golfs and Polos.

I mean, seriously, THIS was an Alfa:
800px-Alfa_Romeo_Montreal_white.jpg



This...
Alfa_Romeo_Giulietta_front_20100704.jpg

... is an embarrassment for the brand.

It may seem sacrilege but it speaks for itself, when the Alfa Romeo workers (including their union!) don't have any faith or trust at all left for their mother company FIAT and prefer to become part of Volkswagen instead.
 
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argatoga

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The bitter truth ist: Alfa Romeo has been run down that much by today, that almost nothing of the old Alfa spirit is left. It's gone. Completely. Ask an Alfa fan of old, what he things of the Alfas of today. I mean, there were times, when Alfa Romeos were compared with BMW's and won the competition, for crying loud loud! Today Alfas are compared with VW Golfs and Polos.

If VW bought Alfa Romeo they WOULD BE VW Golfs and Polos. Slapping on an Alfa grill to an A platform doesn't make it unique.
 
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AiR

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What's wrong with the Giulietta? I think it's snazzy.
 

Jens

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Using the same analogy you could say the BMW 635csi was a proper BMW and the X6/5GT/X3/X1 are embarrassments to the brand (which I think they are) but since the market has changed and people seem to buy it all the talk about herritage does not matter, at all. At least Alfa Romeo's still stand out a bit compared to the competitors, imho. And if Alfa Romeo delivers with the upcoming 4C they will be able to get some of their long gone status back. Now they only need to get the Chrysler-based 166 replacement right with a great design in and out and they will be back on the right track.

However I too believe Fiat has run down Alfa the last two decades but I think they've made a possitive change overall, that's why I believe Fiat is still better for Alfa then VAG could be. Volkswagen will never let Alfa become a brand comparable to Audi, so I do not see a place for Alfa in their portfolio, they got all the markets covered with the brands they own now.
 
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settler

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I agree that Alfa lost something that made them so cool. It's similar story to Lancia. Alfa is still saying that they make sporty cars, but they don't. Hatchbacks and sedans they make now are just hatchbacks and sedans. The big problem is the weight of that cars. For example it makes Brera slowest car in it's class. Ironically Alfas with the same engine are slower than Fiat equivalents.

On the other hand here it's the same what Jens said. When my mother bought her 147 about 7 years ago, Alfa was very rare. Now? Still not VW or Ford, but there are quite a lot of them here. The main difference to Lancia was in company politics. This 7 years ago that car was cheaper than Focus, now smaller MiTo is more expensive. That occurred to be a good strategy to bring back Alfa.

I know that cars like Giulietta sell better than sport coupes. Nevertheless to bring back sportiness back to the brand they should make both. As for a design I think it isn't that bad. Going back on topic - compare it to Lancia. That one has much bigger styling problems.
 

argatoga

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Merging with Chrysler may be a good thing for Lancia. Chrysler has the talent to design good cars, the problem is they never had any money or they had idiots from Germany telling them to make a car that costs $50 using $50,000 Mercedes break-a-lot parts.
 

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Look at it this way, folks: VW knows how to rescue ridden-down brands and make them successful. See Skoda, Bentley or Lamborghini.

And let's just think of an Alfa with an Italian 6-cylinder and the quattro drive from Audi for a moment... hmmm :hmm:

And don't forget, that several key persons from Alfa Romeo (like former CEO Luca di Meo, who was also responsible for the new Fiat 500 and CEO of Abarth!!) already went to VW, so the Italian spirit is already there.

Don't reject this, just because it's Volkswagen.
 

Cold Fussion

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Merging with Chrysler may be a good thing for Lancia. Chrysler has the talent to design good cars, the problem is they never had any money or they had idiots from Germany telling them to make a car that costs $50 using $50,000 Mercedes break-a-lot parts.

A lancia minivan is not something world needs.
 

argatoga

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And let's just think of an Alfa with an Italian 6-cylinder and the quattro drive from Audi for a moment... hmmm :hmm:

Oh it isn't hard to imagine it as it would look exactly like an Audi from the side. Slap an Alfa grill on an otherwise generic B platform car and call it an Alfa.
 

MacGuffin

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Oh it isn't hard to imagine it as it would look exactly like an Audi from the side. Slap an Alfa grill on an otherwise generic B platform car and call it an Alfa.

So you believe that Alfa Romeo currently still has some originality inside?

You know that you're trying to ride a dead horse, don't you?
 
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argatoga

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So you believe that Alfa Romeo currently still has some originality inside?

You know that you're trying to ride a dead horse, don't you?

"Ride a dead horse"?

I don't have a problem with Alfa being bought up by another company necessarily, but for years I've lived among GM badge engineered cars. VW would make them generic, it is how they do things.
 

MacGuffin

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I beg to differ.

The fact, that cars share the same parts and platforms, doesn't necessarily mean they cannot develop their own character. Just because GM failed in doing so, doesn't mean that everybody is damned to share the same fate. Car development isn't a chemistry set, where the same substances mixed together will always lead to the same results. GM should better not be used as an example for anything, except for how things are NOT done.

Let's face reality: Alfa Romeo is the stepchild of the Fiat family and Fiat has no idea what to do with the brand. For the lack of any better idea, they currently sell Fiats in a fancy frock as Alfas. Even when you are pessimisic, you cannot say that VW can do any worse. Especially when you consider, that many key people (including the designers and the former CEO) moved from Alfa Romeo to VW already and that VW has bought the Giugiaro design studio.

I believe, that an Alfa Romeo brand under the roof of VW will have many freedoms, especially when it comes to design language. The technology underneath might be from VW or Audi but frankly that doesn't matter at all. It's like cooking: It's not the ingredients, that make a difference, but how you use them. Even with the same ingredients you can create something very different. And that is what Fiat obiously is unable or unwilling to do.
 
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argatoga

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I don't mind sharing innards, I don't want them to make a nearly identical car with a different grill. VW currently does this with their brands.
 

settler

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Even when you are pessimisic, you cannot say that VW can do any worse.

If I understand the idea is to replace Seat with Alfa. They say that the problem with Seat is lack of sporting pedigree. But come on. Seats are VW and Audis with a small changes. Also for me Alfas look better than Seats. If you say that VW can do better styling, why they can't do it with Seat? What I'm afraid of is that they'll still be making cars like Seats but with Alfa's logo. I understand that Alfa Romeo is a better brand for them, just I'm also not sure if they'll make a better Alfas than Fiat.

Other thing is that I think that this discussion is quite pointless. Like I said earlier. Alfa is making better and better, so there is no reason why Fiat would want to sell it.
 

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A lancia minivan is not something world needs.

Tadaa!

http://pic.armedcats.net/k/kn/knarkas/2011/02/27/Lancia_GrVoy_big.jpg

Yes that is the official photoshop (maybe they're poor and used Paint.net insead).
 

MacGuffin

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Frankly I'd rather have a VW Sharan...
 
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