Alfa Romeo
builds some really good-looking rides, but that apparently hasn't translated into profits for Fiat. In a recent interview with Forbes, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne reportedly called the Italian brand a "money loser," and sales of the marque have consistently underwhelmed. But while Fiat has worked hard to rehab Alfa Romeo to no apparent avail, Volkswagen Chairman Ferdinand Piech feels his people can do better.

Reuters reports that Piech declared at the Geneva Motor Show that VW could raise Alfa sales from about 100,000 units per year to 400,000 or more in a scant five years. The boasting by Piech may seem more than a bit cocky, but that confidence jibes well with VW's bold proclamations that it will become the largest automaker on earth by 2018.

So what prompted Piech to announce to the world that VW could sell more Alfas than Fiat? We have no idea, and Marchionne has shown little public interest in selling the brand in the past. VW is obviously interested in buying Italy's sweetheart, though, and the German automaker likely has the cash and can take a liability off Fiat's books.

[Source: Reuters | Image: Nigel Treblin/AFP/Getty]