Just last week, FCA boss Sergio Marchionne made it clear that he doesn’t see any profit in EVs and he made a pretty good case by arguing his company loses $10k per FIAT 500e sold. However, in his latest chat with Bloomberg, Marchionne has changed his tune and is suddenly showing interest in competing with Tesla using the Maserati brand.
Marchionne is no stranger to changing his mind with the wind, but this is a dramatic turn, as he told Bloomberg TV, “I’ve always thought the economic model that supports Tesla is something that Fiat Chrysler could replicate as we have the brand and the vehicles to do it” in Venice, Italy. He followed that up by saying, “I think that to use one of our potential cars as an experiment in this area is interesting.”
The car in question would be the upcoming Alfieri sports car that Maserati showed off in prototype form at the 2014 Geneva Auto Show. The important thing to remember in all of this is that nowhere in FCA’s five-year schedule—this plan runs through 2018—is the mention of rolling out an electric Alfieri. It looks like Marchionne is going to keep it that way, as he told the news station that there is no plan to produce the electrified Alfieri before he retires from FCA in 2019.
He did reel all of this back into his initial stance by saying that he doesn’t feel that EVs will be the “solution for all of man’s ills,” but he did admit that FCA has “to experiment” in the world of electric cars.
Regardless of Marchionne’s thoughts on the profitability of EVs, I am excited to see the super-sexy Alfieri with an instant-torque electric powertrain. Stay tuned for updates.