Says, shrinking them down to a profitable size doesn't come into question, especially when directed from outside. This is, all in all, why experts doubt that FIAT will survive without new successful investments. Also Volkswagen thinks so and has already been announcing a strong interest in buying Alfa Romeo - FIAT's brand for emotive everyday cars. Just in case the Italians arrive at the point of being convinced of needing any money. Seniore Montezemolo, boss of the FerrariMaserati group which belongs to the FIAT holding, and not to FIAT Auto like Alfa Romeo for instance, recently said he thinks Alfa would perfectly complete the company he leads. In view of the planned close cooperation of Volkswagen and the FerrariMaserati group in matters of technology and distribution, it seems there are two singing the same tune.

Wolfsburg is willing to transfer money to Turin in order to make some Italian dreams come true - including its own.

Our guess is Alfa Romeo will become a part of Montezemolo's sports car section soon, which allows FIAT to make sure that Alfa remains Italian as well as holding share in it. Wolfsburg will certainly be ready to transfer a nice price for a share in the new Ferrari-Maserati-Alfa combine. Thus, VW would profit from the noted Italian brand names, their know-how and the gain it earns. Turin gets a few Euros from VW - which would be very welcome there. In other words FIAT could remain Italian and Ferrari, Maserati and Alfa cars become products of a German-Italian joint venture. Everybody happy? We think so. VW's appetite for more brands would be satisfied as well as Fiat Auto's hunger for fresh capital. Italy's soul won't have to cry about the loss of any national automotive identity symbols, and Aston Martin will be proud of being the only European sports car maker that doesn't use components from VW, in contrast to Bugatti, Lamborghini, Maserati, Ferrari and Porsche.

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