* Plans to include convertible, sedans and crossover SUVs
* Fiat Chrysler plans to grow Alfa sales fivefold, magazine
* Company declines to comment; new plan will be unveiled in
FRANKFURT/MILAN, March 21 Fiat Chrysler
Automobiles (FCA) will unveil seven new Alfa Romeo
models and push to increase sales of the sports car brand
fivefold, Germany's Auto Bild magazine reported on Friday.
The relaunch of the 104-year-old Alfa Romeo brand, along
with luxury Maseratis, is a key part of the group's plans to
return to profit in Europe by 2016. Both Alfas and Maseratis
will be produced in Italy, FCA has said.
The company aims for Alfa sales of at least 500,000 vehicles
a year compared with around 100,000 sold last year, the magazine
said in an unsourced report. It did not mention a timeframe.
FCA declined to comment. It is due to unveil a new
industrial plan, outlining investments and new models the group
will pursue over the next three years, on May 6.
Auto Bild said the company plans to release a convertible
Spider by 2016, followed by the sedan and wagon versions of the
Giulia and Alfetta models in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
The Giulia sedan will compete with BMW's 3-series,
while the Alfetta sedan would rival the German automaker's
The pipeline also includes two crossover sport utility
vehicles, a compact version and a larger one, which will come to
the market in 2017 and 2018, respectively, the magazine said.
The MiTo and Giulietta hatchbacks currently in production
will not get replacements as previously anticipated, it added.
Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne is betting on the sporty
Alfa brand because he believes it can deliver the global profile
that his mass-market Fiat brand cannot and far greater sales
volumes than top-end Maseratis, but the strategy has so far been
met with scepticism.
Fiat acquired the Alfa brand in 1986, but has since failed
to reinvigorate it despite repeated attempts.
Ambitious plans to boost sales to half a million by 2014
have been gradually scaled back, partly because the auto market
in Europe was hit by a six-year long slump in sales, leaving
behind a weak reputation for quality and just three models.
The recently launched Alfa Romeo 4C coupe was well received,
(Reporting by Ed Taylor and Agnieszka Flak; Editing by Anthony