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Creating Maseromeo?

by David Zatz on

Bloomberg’s Tommaso Ebhardt wrote about a possible spinoff of Alfa Romeo and Maserati, the premium Italian brands currently owned by FCA, as well as FCA’s parts groups (Comau, Magneti Marelli, and Teksid).

While most rumors and “leaks” recently have claimed that FCA would sell off the mass-market empire (Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, and Ram, in alphabetical order), Bloomberg wrote that the goal would be selling off the premium cars to raise money for (and increase the focus on) mass-market cars.

alfa romeo stelvio

FCA’s largest shareholder, Exor, might also be thinking of its success in spinning off Ferrari, which raised the value of its holdings. The Maserati-Alfa Romeo (AlfaRati? Maseromeo?) spinoff would clearly separate the two brands from their plebian relatives, increasing their snob appeal, and would most likely increase the total value of Exor’s holdings.

In addition, since Alfa Romeo and Maserati are a long way from completing their ambitious product and distribution plans, billions of dollars are needed to keep the momentum going. A spinoff would allow new investors to contribute that money, without hurting Chrysler, Dodge, and Fiat.

At the moment, most analysts seem to agree that FCA is worth more in pieces than as a whole, though there are clear synergies in keeping the unit together. The main problem is money — it takes billions to just stay in the game, much less grow. Dodge has been getting a good deal of mileage out of a fleet that many thought was due for retirement, but that can’t go on forever, and Chrysler is still waiting for its two new crossovers — not to mention Jeep’s Wagoneer and the possible Dodge (or Ram?) Ramcharger.  Splitting off Maserati and Alfa Romeo and selling shares in the new firm would reduce the risk of Alfa-failure somewhat and possibly bring in two or three billion dollars for development.

There have been numerous articles on FCA selling off Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram recently — but Bloomberg raised the possibility that it might just be Alfa Romeo and Maserati that are shared with another company, or individual investors.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304

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