In an interview of Gazzetta dello Sport, Marchionne said that "in order to restore [Alfa Romeo's] name they must consider returning to Formula One".
As many are well aware, participation in the Formula One world championship doesn't come cheaply. In his chat, the boss of the Italian-American car maker noted that Alfa Romeo "would probably work with Ferrari".
Although hard core fans may cry at the thought of Ferrari and Alfa sharing racing engines, the Ferrari chairman noted that "people struggled to imagine Red Bull working with Ferrari" and that it was vital "to have other large manufacturers enter the sport".
When pressed as to what level of participation Alfa would have with its hypothetical team, Marchionne answered that the brand is "capable of making their own chassis, just like they are capable of making their own engine".
It's not clear whether Marchionne's interview is a true statement of intent or just the chairman thinking out aloud.
The new plan includes the introduction of the 3 Series-chasing Giulia this year, with a similarly sized SUV following in 2017. Due to worsening conditions in China, a larger sedan, two further SUVs and other models have been pushed back to some time between 2017 and 2020.
Sales of the Giulia sedan have already been delayed six months, with reports in the past week indicating that the sedan is being re-engineered as it failed to pass internal crash tests.
Fiat Chrysler also recently announced that it would axe the slow selling Corolla-class Dodge Dart and the Camry-fighting Chrysler 200 from its US lineup to make room for more Ram pickup truck and Jeep SUV production.