Alfa Romeo 4C

Alfa Romeo has been rumored to return to the US market so many times for so many years, it's hard to keep count. This time, though, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne promises that it's for real. Alfa is scheduled to reappear in the States this summer with its 4C sports coupe as its introductory model. However, buyers won't be able to pop into just any Fiat showroom and leave with a 4C – it's planning to only sell Alfas at its best-performing dealers, according to The Detroit News.

In fact, the first 4Cs sold here won't be sold at Fiat dealers at all. Instead the first shipment of cars in June will go to Maserati dealers, not unlike the handful of Alfa 8C Competizione coupe and convertible models that trickled in starting in 2008. According to Fiat Chrysler spokesperson Rick Deneau, the company is still deciding which Fiat retailers will participate in Alfa's reentry.

Many of Fiat's US dealers are apparently not happy with the meritocracy approach. They built Fiat showrooms partially on the promise that Alfa would enter the US market in 2012, then 2013, and now later this year. Even worse for them, the prospects for more mainstream Alfa Romeo models in the US are still questionable.

This isn't the first time that we've heard that Fiat plans to keep Alfa Romeo exclusive in the US. Still, Fiat only plans to export about a 1,000 4C sports coupes a year here. If Alfa wants to be a legitimate player in America and be a money-making concern globally, it will need far more sales than that.