There's mounting evidence it could happen.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) hasn’t been having a good year. Plagued by recalls and slow sales (with the exception of Jeep and Ram), the automaker isn’t quite struggling to stay afloat, but it does have huge debt. How to get things back on track? According to Forbes, one way would be to sell off premium brands Maserati and Alfa Romeo, and possibly even high-tech component manufacturer Magneti Marelli. Stacking up debt is never a good thing for a company, and FCA’s debt is actually growing.
The close of the third quarter 2016 saw FCA almost $7 billion in the hole. Some of that money owed is fines from government regulators. We’ve previously seen FCA take measures to cut costs, such as discontinuing the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 sedans in order to focus more on the highly profitable Jeep and Ram brands. But prioritizing trucks, SUVs and crossovers alone isn’t enough. The Maserati Levante SUV has just gone on sale and the Alfa Romeo Stelvio isn’t too far behind. Still, FCA may be forced to make a move to bring in quick cash sooner rather than later, as it previously did when it spun off Ferrari into its own separate brand. Could Maserati and Alfa Romeo follow that same course?
It’s certainly possible. Could another automaker, such as Volkswagen Group which we’ve long known is interested in adding Alfa Romeo to its portfolio, come along and make FCA an offer it can’t refuse? Also possible, but if we had to predict, we’d go with the first option. Like Ferrari, it allows both brands to remain under Italian ownership and, to a certain extent, related to FCA. A final decision hasn’t been reached yet. By this time next year it could be a different story.