• Jul 2, 2010
The Alfa Romeo brand is a tough one to pin down... or perhaps it's parent company Fiat that's elusive, or maybe just CEO Sergio Marchionne that refuses to be a fixed target. New Alfa-Abarth-Maserati CEO Harald Wester has said that Alfa's long-term sales target is 500,000 vehicles by 2014. That's a mountainous 400,000-unit increase over 2009 sales, yet the route to the peak of that mountain isn't any clearer than it was in January when Alfa wasn't coming to the U.S., except that Alfa finally has "the right conditions, the right products and the right synergies to get there," according to Wester.

A brief summary of the timeline: in January Marchionne says Fiat can't come to the States unless it makes a business case – which, at that point, hadn't been made; later that same month Harald Wester takes his consolidated CEO position; in February Marchionne says Alfas will be sold in the U.S. by 2012; and in April Fiat's five-year plan is unveiled with Alfa slotting in six new models, some based on Chrysler platforms.

The only detail we're missing is why Alfa Romeo thinks it will work this time, this well. Alfa has been underperforming in Europe in spite of the models its been releasing, and we don't know why Chrysler platforms would change that. True, Alfa is only relying on the U.S. market for that growth, but an average year-on-year increase of 80,000 cars, starting this year, is an order of the tallest kind. And that's before any talk of Alfa having to battle Lancia for market share and marketing dollars.

Audi may have big U.S. targets too, but Audi won't need to fight the perceptions of a dishonorable discharge from the U.S. market two decades ago in order to meet them. We've been expecting Alfas product assault to be good. But with these numbers, we'll expect it to be phenomenal.

[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req'd]


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  • 42 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      A red hot beauty.
      • 4 Years Ago
      To get 500,000 sales in NA by 2014, hmmm, that seems beyond optimistic.Those sales will have to come from Toyota, Chevy, Ford, Nissan, Hyundai, etc. Will that many people give up on established cars to try an Alfa? Most likely not. They need a dealer network, which technically they have with Chrysler, but can Chrysler dealers move them? I feel the average Alfa owner is looking for something different in a car then a guy who buys a Hyundai. Would it even be workable to have a Chrysler 300 beside an Alfa in a showroom?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Of course its possible!

        Chrysler 300 is for full-size luxury
        Alfa Romeo 159 is for midsize sport/luxury
        Alfa Romeo Giulietta is for compact sport/luxury
        Alfa Romeo MiTo is for subcompact sport/luxury
        Alfa Romeo Spider and 8C are for sportcar lovers

        It's a perfect match.
        Who needs the grey darlings Sebring, T&C, PT Cruiser when Alfa Romeo completes the line-up in a far superior fashion?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Now that the Italians are preparing to sell their cars this side of the pond, I wonder who's next. Maybe the French! If they sold the Citroen DS4 (production version of the C-Lounge concept) here, I would take it over anything that they sell here. Maybe even over the Alfa Romeo shown above!
      • 4 Years Ago
      That looks like my Impreza but in red.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I agree, at least from the side it looks a lot like a Impreza. Especially the front, though the hunch is similar, too.

        I like the lack of chrome on the Subaru, but the curves and general quality looks better on the AR. Normal looking brake lights and stuff, etc. And Subaru rarely offers such tasty looking colors for their cars...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Bite your tongue.

        Your impreza wishes it looked that good. (although both impreza and that Alfa could use a front-end update. The impreza is too blunt, and the Alfa is too sparse with the headlights too far apart, considering the small triangle grille.)

        If Subaru built a car that looked as lithe and sleek as that alfa does, with Brera/159's front end, or something closer to the 8C or TZ3 concept, but with Subaru's superior AWD drivetrain under it, I would probably be working on getting my finances in order to buy one.

        My Legacy's garnet red pearl paint wishes it looked as good as the red paint on that alfa. Close, but that red paint is extra fantastic.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I wouldn't want this car b/c there are no rear door handles... I hate it when fools crawl over my seat to get in the back.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I swear, nobody gets sarcasm around here.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I know, right??
        • 4 Years Ago
        I hate that too, but this car does have rear handles, and doors...a la the Nissan Pathfinder, the handles are hidden up by the window.
        • 4 Years Ago
        You need passengers who are less stupid.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Bring on Alfa! I'm sure Chrysler dealers would love to become Chrysler/Alfa Romeo Dealers. Alfa for the smaller, european near-luxury, Chysler for the larger, American near-luxury. It would certainly be nice to see some gorgeous Alfas roaming the streets.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Looks typical of Alfa's design theme which began in 1996 with the 156 and which the likes of Subaru and Seat have since then copied.
      • 4 Years Ago
      You want the sales? Sell 'em here (USA), don't rebadge as a Chrysler, give us powertrain options, and voila! Sales.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Guys,you don't get the full picture. The Chrysler/Fiat partnership will make things happen beyond the scope of the partners alone. Marchionne is content to sell his Italian platforms as totally redesigned Dodges, Chryslers and Jeeps in North America with little trace of origin except for profits they generate. Alfas may rest far below the surface, most would never recognize their DNA, but they will still count in the Alpha expansion. I doubt too many "pure" ARs make it to America. Some may be sold in select Chrysler dealerships, but not in numbers. It's Chrysler sales that matter here in North America.
      Going now to Europe, the North American Chrysler manufactured vehicles will be lightly disguised and will fill in the gaps in Europe not filled by Fiat product. Taking advantage of the excellent Fiat dealer network will greatly enhance sales of Chrysler products in Europe, many which will count as Fiat brands. World wide sales of Chrysler products will explode (especially Jeep) when sold through Fiat dealers world wide. In these countries Fiat will determine product and branding with pure profit being the bottom line.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I sure wish to see more and more Alfas on the road but come on, that target is unreal.
      In Ireland, this established manufacturer just sold 110 units in the 6 first months of the year... Having good products isn't enough. Alfa suffer from bad reputation, and you can't turn this around in a few years time ... Good luck anyway, and please tell me what's your drug supplier, seems like good one :)
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well, if you bring the Guillietta in a decent trim level to the US, then you can count me as a buyer. I love this car.

      It definitely has hints of Subaru, Vauxhall, Mazda3, etc. but it has just a bit of added sexiness that those cars haven't yet found.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Alfa and Fiat would bring back SEXY to the small and medium car (B-D segment) market. There not many things under $100,000 that you would call Sexy, but there plenty of good looking Alfas running around in Europe. I already want a 500...
      • 4 Years Ago
      For an Alfa it sure has a lot of generic design elements to it. I see a lot of Opel/Vauxhall Astra, Subaru etc from the windshield back
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