Alfa Romeo Announces in Frankfurt More Delays In Its Return to the U.S.
Plans for an Alfa Romeo mid-size SUV, scheduled to be built at Chrysler’s Toledo factory and sold in the U.S. in 2014, have been cancelled. The Alfa Romeo SUV was intended to replace the Jeep Liberty. Sergio Marchionne CEO of Fiat and Chrysler Group and Chairman of Chrysler told audiences at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show that the European debt crisis has forced Fiat and Chrysler to examine the timing of new vehicle introductions.
The 4C now is scheduled to arrive mid-2013, is a baby version of the 8C. A few 8Cs have been sold through Maserati dealerships in the U.S. The 4C will be a rear-wheel drive, low volume coupe with a carbon fiber body and a 250-horsepower turbocharged, 1.8 liter direct-injection, 4-cylinder engine. A 5-door hatchback, the MiTo, will follow in the second half of 2013 as originally planned.
The arrival of Alfa Romeo's Giulietta, a compact hatchback, in the U.S. has been pushed from 2013 to 2014.
Three designs for a mid-size sedan, the Giulia, have been rejected by CEO Marchionne over the last 18 months, delaying its arrival. The sedan and wagon will most likely debut now in 2014. Originally, the sedan was scheduled for the end of 2013 followed by the wagon in 2014. The sedan and wagon are to be built in the U.S. and exported to Europe. The Giulia will be based on a version of Fiat’s new compact platform, called the CUSW, which stands for Compact U.S. Wide. A large rear-drive sedan is also expected to debut in 2014.
Fiat dealers, which now have only one car, the Fiat 500 to sell were counting on selling Alfa Romeos to enhance their dealerships. Fiat will have 130 dealerships operating in the U.S. by the end of the year.
Alfa intended to return to the U.S. over a decade ago when it signed a strategic alliance with General Motors, part of GM’s losing strategy of pouring billions into strategic alliances and getting nothing out of them. Over complicated financial dealings, the two companies went their separate ways.