While every other automaker is busy presenting something new in Frankfurt, Fiat is looking like the kid who forgot that presentations were due this week. They have nothing new to present to the public, zero, zilch. Rumours say that this is due to a cunning plan by Marchionne to save the new models for 2015, when the crisis is (hopefully) over, and demand is (hopefully) back to normal or even above.
O.K. not submitting new models to the rebate wars that are going on today in the European market makes some sense, more so if you can miraculously release a plethora of new models as soon as the market gains new strength. But this comes at a cost. They will have to keep their production capacities while losing market shares at the same time. This means losing customers that might never come back. They also have to predict the precise moment demand comes back up just right.
And this is why I don't believe in this grand scheme. Fact is, Fiat is bleeding heavily in Europe right now. Without the blood donations from ChryCo, there might even be a funeral soon. I don't think that they are holding back new products, they just don't have anything ready to present to the public. Otherwise they wouldn't have Lancia and Alfa Romeo hung out to dry like that, or would they? Alfa has a line-up of TWO cars, that both aren't exactly strong sellers. Imagine being an Alfa Romeo dealer right now! Lancia has five cars but their line-up still looks quite comical with it's small city cars, the rebadged Americans, and nothing in between.
If this is all part of a great plan, then Marchionne is either a mad man or a genius, We'll see what's what at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.