Take a look at the Fiat auto group. What division (barring Ferrari and Maserati) would you think holds the highest value for the company? If you thought Alfa Romeo, you're on the same page as yours truly, but you'd be mistaken. Horribly mistaken, as it turns out: Alfa has lost Fiat hundreds of millions of euros every year. Its sales have declined sharply, and not just since the global economy collapsed: Alfa sold 203,000 units in the year 2000, but only 103,000 last year. That's a heck of a drop-off.

In response, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has ordered a full re-evaluation of the marque, with two courses of action to potentially result. The first would see Alfa more closely integrating its future products with Chrysler platforms. The second would be to stop investing in the brand altogether, leaving the still-new MiTo and the brand-new Giulietta to carry its aging stablemates (including the 159, Brera, Spider and GT) for the foreseeable future.

Speaking with Automotive News Europe from Fiat's headquarters in Turin, Marchionne reportedly said the new plan for Alfa will be revealed this coming February or March. Even if he chooses to keep Alfa alive with Auburn Hills synergy, though, Marchionne has nixed the notion of merging the brand with Dodge, noting that there's a limit to how many times a brand can be reborn.

[Source: Automotive News Europe – subs. req'd | Image: Tiziana Fabi/AFP/Getty]

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