It's been 15 years since Alfa Romeo last sold vehicles in the U.S. market, but according to Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne, we won't have to wait much longer for a chance to own a vehicle donning the Cross and Serpent. Automotive News is reporting that Marchionne insisted that Alfa will return Stateside in the next 24 months, adding: "I'm a lot more confident now that Alfa Romeo will reconstitute a product offering that is acceptable globally, and more in particular in the United States and Canada."
To make the jump to the U.S. and Canada, Alfa will reportedly need to rely on its newest sibling Chrysler for the appropriate platforms. AN sources say that the most likely Alfas to make the trans-Atlantic journey are the successors to the 159 and 166, but those vehicles could be sitting on Chrysler platforms when they make their way to production. The 159 replacement would reportedly be built in the U.S. with a scheduled 2012 arrival and it could rest atop Chrysler's "compact wide" midsize architecture. The range may eventually also spawn both a sedan and wagon. AN indicates that the 166 successor could be matched up with The Pentastar's large rear drive platform that currently underpins the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300, with the vehicle being built at Chrysler's Brampton, Ontario plant. The 147 replacement that is scheduled to be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show will apparently not be coming to North America.
We're really hoping Alfas will in fact arrive on our shores within the next couple years, but we've certainly witnessed this song and dance before. There is no question that Fiat has to do something with Alfa, though, as global sales that have gone from 203,000 in 2000 to 102,000 in 2009 won't cut it for long.
[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]