FIAT Buys Cadillac's Sigma Platform
According to Autobild (print edition, Jan 25), Alfa Romeo will re-engineer almost all of its models from front wheel to rear wheel-drive (RWD). Since the FIAT conglomerate has practically no usable RWD platforms, Alfa is about to ink a deal with GM to use The General's Sigma platform, currently underpinning the Cadillac CTS, SRX and STS. Alfa plans to use Sigma for its 169 executive sedan, the 159 small sedan, the Alfa Spider convertible, the Brera Coupe and for a new generation of smaller Maseratis. Autobild speculates they might deploy Sigma for the next gen Maserati Quattroporte and the GT. From a GM bean-counter's point of view, the news sounds sensible; why not share the costs? From a branding POV, you might say hey, Cadillac could do worse– at least, they aren't sharing Sigma with Pontiac. However. HOWEVER. GM wants to re-relaunch Cadillac in Europe. And Alfa plans to re-enter the U.S. Why the heck is GM helping a competitor to undermine its own market? And let's not forget that the last time GM got in bed with FIAT, it got burnt for 1.55 billion Euros. Fool me once…
It sounds good to me. Especially for a new Spider and a new Brera. I am hoping that the chassis might find its way down to Lancia, but I suppose that's too much to hope for.
So, what about Saab? I remember that Saab was planning their 9-7X to be Sigma-based, but GM ditched that plan because they wouldn't want to dilute their Cadillac brand. So, Saab would have to do with the ancient GMT360-platform, with said and sad result. Imagine a Cadillac SRX-based Saab SUV in 2004. Selling the Sigma-platform to Fiat is doing something good ten years too late. Perhaps Saab could jump that bandwagon and develop their own version based on the Alfa underpinnings? I mean, why stop with the badge-engineering? Remember the Saab 9000/Lancia Thema/Fiat Croma/Alfa Romeo 164 from the mid-80's?
I agree this is good news all around. Alfa and Cadillac are not competitors and I doubt they will be cross shopped anytime soon in Europe or the US. A smart deal for both sides. A bit of history. The 164 shared a platform with the Saab 9000 (pre-GM involvement) a Lancia and a Fiat. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_Four_chassis
@jthorner A bit of history. The 164 shared a platform with the Saab 9000 (pre-GM involvement) a Lancia and a Fiat. See: AH, the Lancia Thema... there used to be a version with a Ferrari V8. And yes, front whel drive.