• Jun 26, 2009
Alfa Romeo has been toying with the idea of returning to America for years, but now that Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne is working from Auburn Hills, the time seems more ripe than ever as details emerge on Fiat/Chrysler's strategy vis-a-vis the North American market. While Marchionne implements management restructuring designed to reduce Chrysler's executive hierarchy and separate its divisions into more independent units, a product strategy is rapidly being put into place to make up for lost time during the bankruptcy procedure and get the company back on track.
With Maserati and Ferrari already present in North America and Lancia offering little to entice North American buyers, the Italian side of the partnership looks poised to enter the market with Fiat and Alfa Romeo models. However, while future Chryslers, Dodges and Jeeps will share underpinnings with their Fiat and Alfa Romeo counterparts – including an Alfa GTX to be based on the new Jeep Grand Cherokee – the Fiat brand itself will have a very limited presence in the North American market, offering only the 500 retro hatchback as a stand-alone model... not unlike BMW's Mini brand. Other Fiat models will carry Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep badges, while Alfa Romeo will take the higher profile on this side of the Atlantic, offering cars under the stoic marque to compete with other European luxury brands. As the Freep points out, Chrysler and Alfa had collaborated in the early '90s to bring Alfas Stateside with limited success, but Marchionne evidently thinks it'll have better luck this time around.

[Source: Detroit Free Press]


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  • 33 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      You can see more of the 500c (convertible) here...

      http://www.italiaspeed.com/

      I think this is wise really. There are a number of Alfas that would be appreciated in the States, and Chrysler needs stand alone economical models of its own. With Fiat's terrible reputation in America why would the company want to compromise sales when it can tailor its products more specifically to American customers - who will mostly not know what the underpinnings are anyway - and will recognise and be reassured by familiar badges.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I can't wait!
      • 5 Years Ago
      This has the makings of a disaster. Chrysler will be back in bankruptcy within 4 years. Check out the European JD Power numbers and see where Fiat is. Now Chryslers will be built on Fiat platforms? Good luck with that.
        • 5 Years Ago
        So JD Power is wrong and Fiats are as reliable as Honda's? Read any European magazine and see how Fiats compare with other small cars. The Fiats drive well but every article mentions cheap plastics and build quality. Chrysler will have to make cars better than Honda's and Toyota's to make people think of them as a "car" company. Chrysler has a long road ahead and I don't think they will get there.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Oh please, do you believe everything you read in the papers? In reality, owning a Fiat these days is no more troublesome than owning a Ford, Vauxhall, VW or Peugeot. And its certainly a more attractive propsition to look at, and to drive, than any Japanese appliance.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "So JD Power is wrong and Fiats are as reliable as Honda's? Read any European magazine and see how Fiats compare with other small cars. The Fiats drive well but every article mentions cheap plastics and build quality. Chrysler will have to make cars better than Honda's and Toyota's to make people think of them as a "car" company. Chrysler has a long road ahead and I don't think they will get there." - Throwback


        Nobody said Fiats are reliable as Hondas. But whereas with a Honda you get a vehicle as interesting as formica, with a Fiat you get a product with character, with a superb chassis and - particularly if you opt for a diesel - an excellent engine.

        I've owned a number of Fiats in the past twenty-odd years and I have charted their progress closely. My last one - a Stilo 3-dr - was faultless, as was the Bravo I had before it. I don't place much credence in JDP surveys - especially those in the UK. More often than not, people use them purely to gripe about dealership experiences rather than the cars themselves. And given that the differential in customer satisfaction between the top placed and bottom placed marques was just 10%, it isn't worth getting into a lather about. Sure, Fiat has room for improvement, but no more so than any of its arch rivals - Ford, Vauxhall, Volkswagen and Peugeot. Knowing real people with real-world experience of cars from each of these marques, owning a Fiat is no more troublesome than owning anything else.
      • 5 Years Ago
      They might not have quite the reliability of Lexus, or their dealers, but they are no worse than Mercedes, and they have more character than both of them put together.

      Or should I say, more character than Mercedes, because Lexus has zero character to bring to the equation.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Alfa is a crap brand through and though. In the most recent car buyers guide for used vehicles every last vehicle earned a 'not recommended' title. That said, I hope you yanks have a better time w/the brand than the rest of the world... but I doubt you will.
      • 5 Years Ago
      What a boiling pot , the world of cars. The insignia in the grill doesn,t mean a thing
      • 5 Years Ago
      I can't wait for Alfa to come back. My first car was an Alfa GTV6 and that V6 engine was phenomenal. Quality was crap but they've made tremendous progress since then and even though they might not be on par with Lexus or Mercedes...there's this inimitable Italian touch to attract car enthousiasts. They are anything but boring cars. I think Alfa can build itself a nice place here in the States. Kind of BMW but with style. Something the Munich guys have lost those past 10 years.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If you want to look at the interior quality and style of the alfa dashboard and all models in general look at this page www.alfaromeoti.com. I don´t think neither lexus or mercedes has better quality interiors than alfa romeo now a day. All of them are in the same level of course alfa has more style.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Look at all the current Alfa Romeo Models on this page www.alfaromeoti.com
      • 5 Years Ago
      Here's some further information on the subject you fellow AutoBlogger's might find of interest:

      http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/News/articleId=150426#3
      • 5 Years Ago
      I hope they won't water down the Jeep brand.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Correction- I hope Jeep won't water down the Alfa Romeo brand. :-)
      • 5 Years Ago
      "500 which will be available mid 2011..."

      WTF? 2 years from now??!? Screw you Fiat/Chrysler, if you don't want to support my NEED for the Abarth 500 SS now (and by "now" I mean in the next 6-12 months) then I'll go with one of your competitors. Ok, your only competitor.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I would hope they'll get it there sooner than that. It's the distribution that needs sorting more than the detailed requirements required of the car. But: Fiat will want to bring it with the new Multiair engines, and these won't be readily available in Europe until next year. But the US will then get a the very newest and most advanced small car on the planet.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Whoa.

        "The first new engine to be equipped with MultiAir will be the 16-valve 1.4 litre family of naturally aspirated and turbocharged engines."

        WANT!!!!!
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