Slow Chinese market delays Maserati and Alfa Romeo models
The faltering Chinese domestic market, which is experiencing its slowest period of growth in nearly three decades, is forcing Fiat Chrysler to rethink its plans for its Italian models, Bloomberg reports. Rather than going for models that would likely be popular in China, including the Alfa CUV and a larger sedan, the company will shift its focus and bring out updated MiTo and Giulietta hatchbacks, both of which would play better in Europe, an unnamed source within FCA told Bloomberg.
This news is notable because it shows that FCA boss Sergio Marchionne's ambitious product transformation is not progressing as smoothly as planned. In the MiTo's case, the company is willing to go back on its original strategy. The subcompact hatch wasn't supposed to survive beyond 2016, but Bloomberg is reporting an update is due by the middle of next year.
As for Maserati, well, there's not much to say. The Alfieri was supposed to go on sale next year, and now it's not. There's no word on how (or even if) Maserati's priorities will shift to another vehicle, or if this is simply a matter of money being distributed away from one of FCA's brands and toward another.
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