By on February 7, 2011

Fiat/Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has earned our last several quotes of the day with recent controversial statements, so today we present him with the honor for a few choice words that have nothing to do with the United States government. Volkswagen has been sniffing around Fiat’s Alfa-Romeo brand for some time, as Herr Piech reportedly has the hots for the Italian brand. VW CEO Martin Winterkorn even said recently that

Alfa’s a beautiful brand but there are quality issues with the engines and suspension systems for example. I’m quite sure we could make a beautiful brand out of Alfa again.

For a while it looked like Fiat might be playing along with the interest, but recently Marchionne shot down talk of selling Alfa to VW. And he did so with the kind of acid-edged verbal shanking that makes TTAC smile and nod approvingly, saying

As long as I am CEO of Chrysler and Fiat, Mr [Ferdinand] Piech will never have Alfa Romeo. It’s hands-off. I told him. I will call him and I will email him. I’m not the one who bought Seat. He’s the one who bought it. I don’t know if he can [fix it], but he needs to try.

What do you do when a much larger firm comes sniffing around your prized (if troubled) brand? Kick them right in their own struggling brand, and in this case, Marchionne went straight for VW’s “Spanish Pontiac.” The jury is still very much out on Fiat’s grand Chrysler alliance experiment, but if it fails, it won’t be because Sergio Marchionne was scared of a fight.The guy’s talent for confrontation couldn’t be more obvious.

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21 Comments on “Quote Of The Day: From My Cold, Dead Hands Edition...”

  • avatar

    Marchionne is awesome.  Even if he doesn’t save Chrysler, at least it’s going to be a fun ride.

  • avatar

    Wow. As if VW doesn’t own enough brands as it is.

  • avatar

    marchionne has that latin fire – he’s great for the motoring press
    and to think he’s paid a fraction of nardelli, wagoner, etc.

  • avatar

    “Alfa’s a beautiful brand but there are quality issues with the engines and suspension systems for example. I’m quite sure we could make a beautiful brand out of Alfa again.”
    I agree VW is the company to make Alfa Romeo a beautiful brand again.  There was little wrong with the 8C that couldn’t be fixed with an 80’s tech 2.0 litre, 8 valve engine and torsion beam rear suspension.
    This could be the very plan to make Alfa Romeo viable for North American consumption.  Martin failed to mention rear drum brakes, which would complete the engineering hat-trick.
    I want what they’re smoking at V-Dub.  My MkV GTI was an embarrassment; Das Crap…

    • 0 avatar

      >My MkV GTI was an embarrassment…
      see, shoulda gone with the 2.0 instead

    • 0 avatar

      Sorry to hear that. My MkV GTI has been nearly flawless in its almost 35K miles.
      It’s a 2008, and I’ve heard on the interwebz that ’08 is when VW finally got their sh!t together on the GTIs. Was yours older?

    • 0 avatar

      No no no! VW-Audi makes great VWs and Audis but it would be a disastrous fit for Alfa.
      From your username DasFast I’m guessing you’re a fan of Germanic engineering and that’s cool. As you may gather from my avatar I favour Italian flair personally. Both valid viewpoints but not harmonious ones.

      Putting VW in charge of Alfa would be the death of the brand – faster even than GM killed Saab. It’s good to see the prospect being roundly dismissed.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Nice to have someone who quotes almost as well as Lutz.  Too bad we can’t find any photos of Sergio perched atop a flipped Fiat baying at the moon or something.  (I say that with the deepest affection.) 

  • avatar

    Reminds me just slightly of Flavio Briatorre (You’re damn right I spelled it wrong)
    What of it?

  • avatar
    John Horner

    “Alfa’s a beautiful brand but there are quality issues …. “
    Really? A VW executive making fun of another brand’s quality issues.
    Cleanup on aisle three!

  • avatar

    I’m totally with Sergio on this one.

    1. VW is supposed to achieve world domination by selling vanilla Jettas and Passats, not Alfas.

    2. Why would Alfa want to lower its quality by joining with VW?

  • avatar

    Sergio Marchionne is certainly more entertaining than the last several decades’ worth of GM and Ford CEOs combined, rivaling that Italian-American Lee Iacocca from… Chrysler.

    I have always believed the Chrysler-Fiat deal is a marriage made in heaven, very much unlike the Daimler-Chrysler deal. That’s not to say Chrysler can survive, but at least they’ll be compatible partners.

  • avatar

    Quote Will I am- Black-eyed Peas (with apologies to Marcelo):
    “mas que nada, we gonna make you feel lil hotter
    peas and Sergio Marchionne heating up sambaaaa
    sergio play your piano sergio play your yo yo yo yo piano (echoing)”
    Let me know when the Mopar starts selling black sweaters with the FIAT logo!

  • avatar

    “Kick them right in their own struggling brand…”
    Even better if it is a struggling brand that you (or your predecessor) sold to them in the first place.
    Well played, Sergio!

  • avatar

    Alfa is a beautiful brand, and if they can fix some problems, there’s a ravenous America that will buy some fine looking Italian coaches – but not with the VW electrics.

  • avatar

    Acura, please note: this is how you do a beak.

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