Fiat Chrysler to Invest 7 Billion to Relaunch Alfa Romeo

Fiat Chrysler to Invest $7 Billion to Relaunch Alfa Romeo

NEW YORK -- Italian auto giant Fiat Chrysler announced Tuesday that it will invest around $7 billion through 2018 to relaunch the high-end and sporty Alfa Romeo line with eight new models expected.

Fiat said in a strategy presentation that it expects to revive Alfa Romeo with an increase in output from 74,000 cars in 2013 to 400,000 in 2018.

Fiat outlined an aggressive jumpstart of the long-sagging mark that includes the launch of its first new model in late 2015, with the remaining new cars entering the market between 2016 and 2018, according to a presentation at an investor day in Detroit.

In a message directed at Italian officials worried that Alfa manufacturing could be moved to other countries, the presentation said "cars and engines to be industrialized in Italy."

Officials in Fiat's home market have complained that many of the company's manufacturing sites in Italy are underutilized. Fiat Chrysler chief executive Sergio Marchionne had also previously discussed moving Alfa Romeo's manufacturing operations overseas.

The company has committed 200 engineers to the team so far and the number is expected to grow to 600, said Harald Wester, chief technology officer of Fiat Chrysler.

Copyright Agence France-Pressse, 2014

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