The 800 workers employed at the Arese engine
plant will now lose their jobs, although some will be
offered relocation. This will leave just Alfa Romeo's style
centre, with its 400 staff, remaining on the site.
"Powertrain confirmed to us today
that Alfa Romeo engines will no longer be made at Arese,
said trade union leader Vincenzo Lilliu yesterday. "The
assembly lines will be shut completely and the six-cylinder
Alfa Romeo motor will now be replaced with an engine GM
builds in Australia."
Arese: a name synonymous with Alfa Romeo
the giant new Arese factory began in 1960, and it was
eventually to take three years in all to build. It replaced
the long standing, but highly antiquated, Portello facility.
The first car off the new production line was the Alfa Romeo
Giulia, in 1963, and more than one million versions of this
model, in all its various guises, were to roll out of the
factory during the the car's lifetime.
Five years after
the factory initially opened and production commenced, in
1968, a huge new complex of offices was commissioned. The
eye-catching new glass and steel frontage was the work of
the project's Chief Architect Ignazio Gardella, with input
and assistance from Anna Castelli-Ferrieri and Jacopo
Today the Milan
City Authorities are working hard to plug the huge gap being
left in the area by the gradual departure of Alfa Romeo. A
'high tech' industrial zone is in the process of being
created to take advantage of the many skills available. Keen
to attract a 'showpiece' name to spearhead the new
development, there were discussions last year with TVR, the
English specialist sportscar maker, over assembling their
Tuscan model on the new site, although plans eventually faded away.
Ellison & Paddy Granger