Alfa Romeo Severs the Last Slender Link With Its Birthplace
Alfa Romeo Centro Stile is now closing down it’s current location on the site of the former Alfa Romeo factory at Arese. breaking a century old link between the car maker and the City of Milan.
Alfa Romeo’s very first cars were produced at a factory in the Portello suburb of Milan in 1910. The Alfa Romeo logo, the Biscione, famously bears the ancient crest of the Viscontis of Milan dating back to the 11th century and the crusades.
Today, Alfa Romeo’s link with Milan is held by the very slenderest of threads. The historical association with Milan is captured in the brand’s latest model, the MiTo, which draws its name from a combination of the cities of Milan and Turin. Only Alfa Romeo Centro Stile, the official museum and the Fiat Powertrain helpdesk remain at the once sprawling Arese factory that saw mass car production ending a decade ago. Despite this, the small-scale assembly of the Alfa Romeo GTV and Spider (916) outlived the mass-produced cars while the classic ‘Arese’ V6 engine, along with some LPG conversions of Fiat models, continued up to the middle of this decade.
With the Fiat Group’s design activities (Fiat, Fiat Professional, Abarth, Lancia and Iveco) being recently refocused on the Mirafiori site in Turin at Officina 83 under the guidance of ex-Pininfarina design chief Lorenzo Ramaciotti who reports directly to Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne, the days of Alfa Romeo’s presence in Arese was always to be short-lived. Bringing Alfa Romeo into the new Officina 83 design complex will cut costs, create synergies and improve efficiencies according to Fiat Group planning.
According to Quattroruote magazine this week the general staff at Alfa Romeo Centro Stile in Arese have now been put onto the government sanctioned redundancy payment scheme for the next seven weeks and will not return to work afterwards. Work on upgrading the official Alfa Romeo museum, which is also based at Arese, has been halted.
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