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Alfa Romeo, Maserati cut production after China slowdown
Automotive News Europe | 2017/10/20

TURIN - Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has cut production at Italian assembly plants that produce vehicles for Alfa Romeo and Maserati after new Chinese import rules hurt sales, according to union sources. 

Sales of Alfa Romeo and Maserati vehicles have fallen significantly in China since authorities introduced rules governing relationships between dealers and carmakers, FCA told unions. Among other changes, the new regulations ban automakers from imposing stock on dealerships. 

According to two unions, FCA has imposed these production cuts:

-- The production line for the new Maserati Levante crossover at the Mirafiori plant will shut for two weeks between October and November.
-- Production of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio crossover and Giulia sedan at the Cassino plant has been reduced to 265 vehicles per shift, down from 300 this month. This follows production stops on four Fridays since mid-September with a loss of more than 2,000 vehicles. 

FCA declined to comment on the cuts. 

Chinese sales of the Giulia and the Stelvio -- which started this spring -- have fallen significantly after a brisk start, data from market researcher JATO Dynamics show. 

Alfa delivered to 1,006 Stelvios to Chinese dealers in June, 2,666 in July and only 227 in August. Maserati followed the same pattern, shipping an average 350 Levantes in July and August, down from a monthly average of more than 800 in the first six months. 

FCA's sales targets for the Levante, Giulia, and Stelvio may have been too high, according to JATO analyst Felipe Munoz. 

Based on sales to date, Alfa Romeo expects to sell 130,000 to 140,000 vehicles this year, he said. These may not meet the target but it is still "an excellent result," Munoz said. 

This year, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said Alfa Romeo will sell 170,000 vehicles in 2017.

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