• Mar 8, 2008
Alfa Romeo is returning to the US market in about a year, offering the zooty 8C Competizione and 8C Spider atop a range of less spectacular offerings. While the top-end 8Cs will probably be Italian emigres, the 149 and 169 sedans could be put together in Mexico. Alfa doesn't have a hard and fast decision yet, and could pick another site, even one in North America. Moving the labor to Mexico for the volume sellers might prove to be a wise move on Alfa's part. The dollar continues to take a beating, pushing up the cost of European items on US sales markets, and building somewhere else would sidestep some of those increased costs. Alfa is trying this idea in China, too, where Chery will assemble automobiles for that market. We're all for it if it gets the keys to some stylish Italians in our hands while holding the prices down. The quality can't be any worse than it was in the bad old days that led to the notorious reputation for unreliability that afflicted Italian marques. Besides, those shop queens were so joyous to drive, they made suckers out of all of us, and we'd do it again, given the chance.

[Source: Inside Line]


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  • 22 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Um, Alfas have always been known for spotty reliabilty.....So let's build them in Mexico, which is known of course for exceptional autobuilding....Ask VW.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Actually, Alfa's rep for poor reliability was only earned in the 70's and 80's, but they have had a difficult time shedding it since then because they never grasped the concept of after sales service. Before then, Alfa was known for its many motorsport victories, and advanced engineering combined with sexy styling and well balanced handling. Pre war, Alfa was the equivalent of Bugatti today, offering extreme performance (for the time) with exquisitely hand crafted coachwork at prices only the very rich could afford. Just look at what pre-war Alfas are worth today. I'm not saying their reputation was not deserved, but like an urban legend, it gets embelished with each telling, it seems.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Maybe this might sound biased given I am Mexican. But from what I have read, cars built in Mexico show really good reliability. Cars like Fusion, Milan and Accord, to name a few are recognized for their quality. And even though it is pretty easy to joke and attach to clichés... there are a lot of us Mexicans with postrgraduates abroad and really good work ethics... Besides, being short on jobs makes us work harder, we have free trade agreements with half the World and the Mexican Peso is attached to the US Dollar (which is fortunately or unfortunately weaker than the Euro)... thus I feel Mexico can be a wise option for any car manufacturer.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Hell, quality products are made everywhere. Not bashing on Mexico, but even Vietnam makes reliable products. It all depends on management and engineering. The foundation of a reliable plant has already been established. Its not like these things are going to be built by hand.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I would not hold my breath on this one. Fiat's stock lost 16% od its value this year and its CEO declared a tough year ahead. Frankly, the current range of Alfa products cannot really compete (except 8C).
        • 6 Years Ago
        I feel strongly that you are out of touch with modern Alfas, and it's not just my opinion. Euro car magazines have consistently ranked the US bound 159 as a top pick in its class against the A4, C Class and 3 Series. The whole range is stunning to look at, great to drive, and the quality and fit and finish would silence any non-believers. Other than Saab, there are no non-German euro brands in the US, and new blood would be welcome by American looking for something with a little more flair and individuality. I hope they build them in the US vs Mexico, but then again, most of the VWs sold here are built south of the border, and no one complains about VW quality, although their reliability is a another matter. My greatest concern is for Alfa's dealer network, which in years past, here and abroad have done a fantastic job of exacerbating any weak points.

          • 6 Years Ago
          Shiftright: I feel strongly that you are out of touch with modern Alfas,

          Guess what? I drive an Alfa, and I am on my second 159 this year. Beautiful cars but not on par with the Germans for the US markets. They barely cut it for Europe where Alfa market share does not even compete with that of BMW or Audi.
        • 6 Years Ago
        What about the 530% (yes, five hundred and thirty percent) stock rise from April 2005 to July 2007?

        I wonder how you missed that...
      • 6 Years Ago
      The problem that the Europeans had in the 70s and 80s wasn't so much quality (they sucked, on average, about as much as the Americans and South Koreans) as it was support.

      When your Chevy or Dodge broke down, you were two miles to the dealer and six hours from a complete repair. If your Renault, Lada, Alfa, Skoda or Innocenti bought it, you were a hundred miles from a dealer and two months waiting for parts. The only reasons the Germans and Swedes didn't get chased back along with the French, Italians and eastern Europeans is that they had decent logistics.

      If Alfa hops the pond, they will need something like a decent parts and dealer network, because I really doubt they'll be challenging Honda or Ford in quality.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I agree the dealer support is the biggest issue Alfa faces. I can attest however that the quality is not an issue. I live in the US and the UK, and I've driven several modern Alfas, and their quality is above any domestic manufacturer, as it should be, since as a premium motor, they are comparatively more expensive.
      • 6 Years Ago
      One of the best cars i ever drove was a 77 Spyder, that is until it broke down on the test drive. but then again the American cars at thet time were not that much better. Since then, we have come to expect better quality.I hope they can measure up.
      • 6 Years Ago
      And yes... Mexico is North America... while America is a whole continent... but I will not get into unfruitful debates upon "what it is vs what you want to call it".
      • 6 Years Ago
      "Besides, those shop queens were so joyous to drive, they made suckers out of all of us, and we'd do it again, given the chance."

      +1. Everytime my Alfetta Sport Sedan was in the shop or waiting for me to fix it, I swore I'd get it running and sell it. All it took was the one test drive to check the repair and I was hooked all over again.

      Alfa Romeo - crack has nuthin' on us!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hey, here's an idea. Since Alfas are premium cars anyway why not spend the extra money and build them in the U.S.?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well first of all, I think the question Alfa would be asking is... Why not SAVE the extra money and build them in Mexico? Second, I would call Alfa a sub-premium brand. They're more of an Italian Saab than an Italian BMW.
          • 6 Years Ago
          Hmmm, don't agree with that one. Alfa produced arguably the first sports sedan with the Giulietta in the late 50's, at a time when BMW was building large, frumpy saloons and the Italian designed Isetta bubble car under license from Iso. BMW became a competitor for Alfa in the late 60's with the 2002, and the two marques have sparred for Touring Car Championships for decades. Saab has never been a hard core competitor in motorsports, other than its successes in rallying in the 60's. You need only look at Alfa's rich motorsports history to see the difference between Alfa's and Saab's vastly different credos, with no disrespect to Saab.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Why build them in US? It's still more expensive even if you take into account the falling dollar. FIAT is in the business of making money not providing jobs at a loss.

      But whatever the case may be, they can bring the Alfas here, problem is most Americans won't be able to afford them, or any other big ticket items. This is likely to continue while fed keeps on creating inflation, and while government keeps up this reckless spending.

      Interesting to note that with falling demand for petrol, with US supplies at 14yr high the prices are still going up. Inflation at 2%? Yes, sure, and Britney Spears isn't a drugged out lunatic.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "...even one in North America."

      Mexico is part of North America.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Not is some people had their way. Conversely, if you believe the globalist theorist types, Mexico will become part of the US, or whatever they decide to rename it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Almost, you need a crash cours on geography bad, there is something between North America and South America, and is called Central America. And Mexico is in fact part of North America. You need your facts clear before writting.

        >noooo dude! mexico is south america and canada is north america!!
        we should organize an online geography course and a grammar course while we're at it...
        • 6 Years Ago
        noooo dude! mexico is south america and canada is north america!!
        we should organize an online geography course and a grammar course while we're at it...
      • 6 Years Ago
      the lines on this look right off the solstice.
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