• Jan 13, 2010
We were getting amped up for Alfa Romeo's return to the U.S. and the chance to drive Breras and Guilietta's on our favorite roads, and then Fiat head Sergio Marchionne delivers what they call a "smackdown" at the Detroit Auto Show. According to Autocar, Marchionne says that Fiat has to show it can sell enough cars in America to make the enterprise worthwhile on its own, which we take to mean he's not content with Alfa being a critically loved but money-losing division of a profitable conglomerate. If Alfa can't prove the worth of flying to America, then it will stay grounded in Europe. We have but one word to say to this news: maledizione!

[Source: Autocar]


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  • 41 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      As a US taxpayer and therefore partial owner of Chrysler, I demand my right to universal Alfa ownership.
        • 5 Years Ago
        lol. i don't think you're reading the writing that's been on the wall for a year or so. no new chrysler models. alfa/fiat products. fiat bought chrysler mostly for a handy distribution channel. All you partially own will be a method for bringing italian products to us dealerships, as that's all that'll be left of chrysler soon, no car companies from italy.
      • 5 Years Ago
      is there a curse for patience and competence?
      • 5 Years Ago
      How exactly do you show that you can sell in Alfa's in America without actually selling them??? What an absolutely idiotic comment by Sergio Marchionne.

      If he brings the Giulieta with the best engines offered and prices it competitively with Audi and BMW, I am 100% certain it will sell in the US...and I will be first in line. Hey...If Lexus can sell their totally uninspiring cars in America, Alfa could sell a ton based on the core values of the brand: Performance and Emotion. Look at Mini!

      However, I can guarantee utter failure if they intend to dable in the US Market with an Americanized, re-badged "Chrysler Lancia" in a putrid bronze color like that was shown in Detroit. The one that no one the Chrysler stand knew a thing about.

      IMHO...I would keep Chryslers trucks alive, redesign the Minivans, and phase out every bit of existing car models by replacing the cars with actual "Alfa & Fiat" cars badged as Alfa Romeos & Fiats, not as Chryslers or Dodges.

      Need further convincing of how done Chrysler cars are? Just look at the new Buick Regal GS (i.e. Opel OPC) from GM and the rest of the World version of the new Focus. Enough said! My question is: What took Ford and GM so long to figure it that you can't sell crap in America forever!

      Stick a fork in Chrysler when the best they can do is bring a Dodge Challenger/Charger to the streets to compete against all the foreign marques. Nostalgia only last for a VERY short period of time.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think the only way Alfa would have a chance would be if it came over at VW pricepoints. If you could buy "base" models and cross shop a 159 with a Passat, that would be great, but you know they'd only sell 6-cylinder, all-leather, 18" wheeled wallet melters and we are so oversaturated with BMW, MB, Audi, Acura and Infiniti that I can't even begin to comprehend how a new player on this continent could hope to compete.

      I'd rather have an Alfa, at least as long as they were a rare site on the streets, but if I had to pay 335i prices... well... I'm vain, but I wouldn't spend that much just to look good. As it stands, I bet we'll get Fiats at VW prices, and that's not even a question for me. If every Fiat model did 0-60 in 3 seconds, cost less than a Yaris and lasted like a Ford tractor I still wouldn't buy one because they are the fugliest cars I've ever seen this side of China.
      • 5 Years Ago
      @MikeInNC: I fell in love with that CAR. And I would buy a MiTo in a minute. I don't care what kind of problems Alfa has. Bring them already.

      This is the weirdest marriage ever. Chrysler makes the ugliest cars ever without any passion. When I shop for a car, I don't ever consider Chrysler products and avoid renting them with a passion. Alternatively, if Alfa (and FIAT for that matter) where to come back, I would have to consider running to the dealer -- assuming as other have said the price points make sense.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Alfa needs to compete with BMW and Mercedes.
      That's what Alfa is born to do, and that's what Marchionne wants from Alfa.

      Up until now, Alfa failed on every departement to compete against the Germans, and this worries Marchionne.

      Marchionne will give Alfa the last chance by trying to re-invent the brand once again.
      If that fails, Alfa will be sold or terminated.
      Marchionne is the best CEO FIAT ever had, and probably one of the smartest one out there.

      Chrysler and FIAT will survive and will get stronger.............Alfa on the other hand is a big question mark and might not survive, unfortunately.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm a big Alfa fan, and as disappointing as this news is, it's understandable and not unexpected. I think Alfa could sell very well here with the right product, but mostly it needs really good marketing AND a serious (and qualified) dealer network to establish a credible presence. Most people in the US know very little about an Alfa is, so the rich heritage is worthless is here. If BMW can do it with the Mini, Fiat can do it with Alfa, and I hope they do it right with the 500 later this year.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree, they need to be aggressive with the marketing. I think that they would sell pretty well with a great product.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If I have to buy a FIAT 500 in order to later purchase an Alfa-Romeo, I'm up to it !
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hey Marchionne, just shut the doors on Chrysler and call it a day.
        • 5 Years Ago
        At least the other Automakers profit from a Chrysler shutdown.
        • 5 Years Ago
        We wouldn't lose 1M sales. They'd just go buy Fords and GMs and get better products. So actually, US taxpayers would benefit because GM would probably gain market share.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @adrenalnjunky, Your logic is wrong. Do you really think iIf Chrysler goes away there would be 1million less cars sold?
        • 5 Years Ago
        If people aren't buying Chrysler corp. products due to reliability and quality issues why would they EVER consider an Alpha? Like Jeremy Clarkson said, one of the reasons Italian cars are exciting are because they're always on fire.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Why can they not combine Dodge and Fiat into a single brand, Chrysler and Lancia into a single brand, Ram and Ivico into a single brand, and keep Jeep, Alpha Romeo as premium brands.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @MemphisNET - I disagree, the mito sells for polo money in europe, thousands cheaper than the golf. If Fiat brought it over here for fiesta/fit money it would sell in unbelievable amounts. If they brought it over for golf/civic with options that everyone else has standard money it would sell well. If they brought it over for GTI money it would sell in GTI volumes. The car is just perfect in person, proportions, interior, handling, fuel economy, and would pop against the drab north American automotive landscape like nothing else.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @sk

        Doubtful - if chrysler quit producing vehicles, it would likely hurt other auto makers, especially the domestics.

        Many of these companies use the same parts suppliers, fabrication companies, supply chains, vehicle delivery carriers, financing arms and so on.

        If one of the major players in those company's client list goes away, and dis-economies of scale would dictate an increase in costs to keep those businesses open. If Dodge isn't buying 100,000 Goodyear truck tires that Goodyear was counting on for their bottom line, they would need to increase the cost on truck tires bought by all other OEM's, and probably for a direct consumer like you and I as well. That, or they would have to lay off workers, idle production lines and get lean to absorb the decreased revenue.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You would lose a lot of jobs. Lots and lots of jobs.

        Alfa will come here. Except it will have a Dodge nameplate on it. How many Alfas are sold a year? 100K? Alfa should be shut down.

        The only Fiat/Alfas sold here will be the ones that are BUILT here due to the weakness of the Dollar. The 500 will be built in NA.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes, lets throw away 1million sales away for... how many of you REALLY would buy an Alfa? That's right. Maybe 30,000 sales?

        And I'm aware that Chrysler had less than 1million sales in the US last year (940,000'ish?).
        • 5 Years Ago
        I would also buy a MiTo, the problem is the non-autoblog community for the most part will not. There is still massive volume in Chrysler (we'll see how that goes over the next 24 months of course) -- Alfa is an unknown, and I can appreciate why Sergio isn't ready to pull the trigger yet .. on Chrysler or Alfa.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "At least the other Automakers profit from a Chrysler shutdown."

        And that is why you want them shutdown, so your favorite automakers(s) will benefit. I won't support shutting them down, just so other companies can benefit. Sorry, but if Ford, GM, or anyone else can't take those sales away from Chrysler the hard way by earning them then they will just have to put up with the pesky little automaker, especially if they find their mojo again. A 90's style Chrysler is a bad dream to any automaker. A 90's style Chrysler combined with FIAT group is a nightmare.

        As for Alfa, Marchionne is looking smarter all the time. Unlike some others he doesn't make his business decisions based off his ego. If there is a business case, he will do it. If not, despite all the romantic notions of Alfas running the roads of North America, it ain't gonna happen folks.
      • 5 Years Ago
      maledizione = Damn? OK I get it. I'm not sure I'm following what Sergio Marchionne's thinking but he's Italian so that's part of the deal.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Give me my MiTo!

      @sk
      We can only dream. Take down the Chrysler signs, replace it with Fiat/Alfa Romero
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree with you on shutting down Chrysler but i can t see Fiat or Alfa being profitable in North America.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If the MiTo comes with a Chrysler badge, I will not be buying it.
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