• Oct 26, 2008
Dang. And everything was looking so good for a return of the Alfa Romeo brand to the United States. Too bad, it seems, 'cause the latest reports indicate that the Italian purveyor of stylish automobiles such as the Brera, 159 and the drool-worthy 149 will be pushed back to 2011 at the earliest. Fortunately for the very well heeled, the Alfa 8C Competizione has been made available through an assorted group of Maserati dealerships, though it's already sold out. Such a quick sellout indicates that there are plenty of enthusiasts anxiously awaiting the marque's entrance Stateside, but our current horrible economic climate will likely dictate otherwise.

Alfa's owner, Fiat, is having difficulties of its own as it attempts to stem the tide of falling sales figures along with rest of the industry. Apparently, the only way for Fiat to make money selling cars in America is to build them here. We wish some sort of deal could be made with Cerberus to use up some of the under-utilized factories that Chrysler currently has available. and a deal Something like this could indeed take place, but probably not until the auto market stabilizes and the Detroit 3 figure out their various positions in the new-look landscape. Thanks for the tip, Elias!

[Source: Italispeed]


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  • 21 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I can say I'm not surprised, disappointed yes, not shocked though. The market is a mess. Now's not the time.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The US car market is shrinking, and the dollar is recovering for the time being, which negates any reason to built Afla here useless.

      LS2 - return was real. You just need to understand that these things take time. Fiat always undertook a really conservative approach. Fix quality issues, create products which can really compete with German and Japanese and competition, and so forth.

      Unfortunately, latter part of 2008 has turned out to be a disaster, and all companies are afraid to take any drastic steps to expand.

      And besides, if I were Fiat, I'd shy away from over-leveraged American consumer. Coupled with the fact that no one wants to lend, means Alfa would not be able to do financing/leasing, rendering volume figures dismal. I applaud their decision in postponing the return.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Intelligent and thoughtful analysis. It makes no sense to enter a market where even the mighty Toyota has to slow its production and offer big incentives to move sheet metal. Most Americans are thinking about saving their mortgages, 401ks or finding new employment. Buying a somewhat expensive sport luxury european car is not first on their minds.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Intelligent and thoughtful analysis. It makes no sense to enter a market where even the mighty Toyota has to slow its production and offer big incentives to move sheet metal. Most Americans are thinking about saving their mortgages, 401ks or finding new employment. Buying a somewhat expensive sport luxury european car is not first on their minds.
      • 6 Years Ago
      my 159 absolutely rocks.
      better than any previous bmw i have owened
      • 6 Years Ago
      Not a surprise, I don't think the return was ever real, I doubt they took any real steps towards establishing a dealer network.

      How does selling 40 or whatever 8Cs indicate there are "plenty of enthusiasts" on desk for Alfa?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Patience, Alfa will come, and they'd be stupid not to when the economy picks up again and new car demand sky rockets
      • 6 Years Ago
      In this also admittedly old link, Alfa, although not showing a very good score, still scores higher than Audi, as well as Saab. I've had an Audi A4, a BMW 325i and most recently an Alfa 159 3.2 I bought last year, admittedly with a bit of trepidation and warning from some friends. The Audi was a lovely car but simply dreadful in terms of dependability. The Alfa hasn't been perfect, but much to my delight, neither has it presented any major problems in 52,000 km. The BMW it replaced was actually worse, I have to say, although it was mostly in the area of electrics and electronics. However, the BMW dealer was a bit better at getting things resolved than their counterparts at Alfa. This is my first Alfa, but from my experience they seem to have overcome their previous weaknesses. The 159 is very well built and finished, looks and sounds lovely, is a pleasure to drive and never disappoints when I see it in the car park. Based on this experience, I would buy and recommend another. I feel once American consumers get past their negative expectations, Alfa could do quite well on your side of the pond.
      Michael D.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I have to be negative, but I'm really getting sick and tired of all these delays! I know that there's more important things in life and worse things in the world, but, I get tired of either being teased with this or the dangling of the proverbial carrot before us. It was said, and in other sources, that it's delayed by a year or so, and not pulled, but, it's something we anticipate and hate time to keep passing with this, even though good things come to those who wait.
      • 6 Years Ago
      You forget one thing... An Alfa Romeo is not a sterile machine like a Japanese or Korean car... An Alfa has soul but you can not understand it until you own one.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Amen, brother...
      • 6 Years Ago
      It might make sense for Cerberus to lease out some of its excess capacity at Chrysler, but I doubt that GM would appreciate the extra competition in their 'new' backyard.
      • 6 Years Ago
      GM buys Chrysler, then contracts with Fiat to assemble Alfas in under-utilized factory capacity. That would be interesting! It would be win-win for GM it think. But since their untimely divorce a few years back when GM refused to purchase Fiat outright due to a contract "side note", their relationship would be put to another demanding test where Fiat could find itself at the mercy of GM b/c the US market is still important to the industry.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Logical.

      Plus, there's an added value - the coefficient of crap on the American market will not increase.

      Alfas DO look good, but they are terribly unreliable.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Shiftright, Alfas are not Hondas, trouble is they're not even Hyundais.....

        In reliability tests conducted by TUV examining and testing 7 million cars aged between 2-3 year, the best Alfa ended up at 102nd place...

        1. Mazda3 1,2 %
        2. Mazda2 1,4 %
        3. VW Golf/Bora 2,2 %
        3. Ford Fusion 2,2 %
        5. Honda Jazz 2,3 %
        6. Mazda MX-5 2,4 %
        6. Porsche Boxster 2,4 %
        6. Porsche Cayenne 2,4 %
        9. Ford C-MAX 2,5 %
        9. Mercedes-Benz A 2,5 %
        9. Opel Meriva 2,5 %
        9. Toyota RAV4 2,5 %

        102. Alfa Romeo 156 7,4 %
        103. Mini Cooper 7,5 %
        104. Alfa Romeo 147 7,6 %
        104. Peugeot 307 7,6 %
        106. Mercedes-Benz M 8,1%
        106. Mitsubishi Colt/Lancer 8,1 %
        108. Fiat Stilo/Bravo/Brava 8,4 %
        108. Opel Omega 8,4 %
        108. SEAT Arosa 8,4 %
        111. Renault Kangoo 8,6 %
        112. Nissan Primera 9,2 %
        113. Renault Laguna 12,6 %
        114. Renault Espace 12,7 %
        115. Chrysler PT Cruiser 13,5 %
        116. Kia Carnival 19,7 %

        (% rate of defects)
        http://www.tuvamerica.com/tuvnews/hotnews/pressdetail.cfm?id=1391

        The AUTO BILD TÜV Report is published by the German TÜVs. For this report, the results of over 7 million roadworthiness tests carried out on the 194 most popular types of vehicles from three to eleven years old are collected throughout one year. The cars with the lowest and highest rates of defects in 2007 are then determined on the basis of this data.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yes, insert misinformed and grossly outdated reliability comment here....I'm so damn tired of hearing people that most likely have never had any first hand experience merely regurgitating whatever stereotype they've heard from Joe Shmo. Alfas are not Hondas exactly in terms of reliability, and they did go through a bad patch , umm, two or three decades ago, but they are not any more or less reliable than their competitors. Are Audis and BMWs reliable? I guess it depends on your expectation, but for a long time, Alfa's greatest problem has been their dealers, which turn a burned out signal bulb into a 3 day stay. Every time I see a 164 in the US it is a daily driver with massive mileage. In Europe they've made huge strides in materials and assembly quality.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Firstly, this is an old survey because the Alfa 156 hasn't been in production since 2004. Still, the (very pretty 156) was better than a Mini, a Mercedes and a Mitsubishi, and I never hear anyone throw 'unreliable' at those brands.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Mr. Ed,

        Any other makes of 13 to 17 year old cars rusting in the junkyard near you, or did you just happen to find an all-Alfa junkyard?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Anybody who remembers the terrible Italian imports will be leery of these until they're well proven. Fix It Again, Tony was/is long for FIAT, and well earned. There's an Alfa 164 rusting in a yard near here, not having run almost since new. Take a hint and avoid this stuff.
      Michael D.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Oops, my first line should have read, "I HATE to be negative...", sorry about the typo, I wrote that comment fast.
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