|FRANKFURT – Alfa Romeo has cancelled or delayed the launch of new models due to the poor economic outlook.|
The Fiat S.p.A. sporty brand has scrapped plans to launch a midsized SUV due in 2014. A compact SUV, due in 2012, is now slated for 2013.
The Giulia midsized car will be introduced in 2014 instead of next year, while the launch of a new Spider, orginally due in 2013, is now moved to 2014.
The product changes were outlined in a presentation given by Alfa CEO Harald Wester to financial analysts at the auto show here on Wednesday.
The changes have led Alfa to reduce its target to sell 500,000 units a year by 2014 to 400,000.
The move follows gloomy comments on Europe's economy made by Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne at the auto show on Tuesday.
He said the euro debt crisis has prompted Fiat and Chrysler to examine the timing of vehicle introductions.
"We are reviewing volumes and the timing of new products to see when it is really necessary to launch them," Marchionne said.
The Giulia is a key car for Alfa. It will replace the Alfa 159. Sedan and station wagon versions are planned.
In the past 18 months Marchionne has rejected three rounds of styling proposals for the car.
The five-door MiTo subcompact is the only Alfa model to keep its timing for a 2013 launch
The Alfa 4C coupe will suffer a minimal delay. It will launch in mid-2013 instead of the end of next year.
A large Alfa sedan derived from the next generation of the Maserati Quattroporte will be launched after 2014 instead of the cancelled midsized SUV.
According to Wester's presentation, Alfa plans global sales of about 155,000 units this year, from 115,000 it sold both in 2009 and 2010.
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