Italian Jeep and Alfa Romeo SUVs To Be In America By 2012

Chrysler's new owner, Fiat, is planning on creating 280,000 Jeep and Alfa Romeo compact SUVs in Italy by 2012.

Alfa Romeo, who has a long history of Italian style and design, is being smashed together with Jeep, who doesn’t have any of that. The American classic might not be known for their style, but they’re tough and fit America’s go-where attitude. Seems like an interesting partnership, no?

The cars will be built at Fiat’s Mirafiori, Italy, plant in Turin, that currently produces the Alfa Mito, Fiat Idea and Lancia Musa. The plant will be getting a major 1.3 billion euro re-tooling, in the preparation for these two machines. Fiat hopes to have vehicles flying out of the plant by the third quarter of 2012.

According to Autocar, Jeep and Alfa will be taking design cues from Fiat’s Compact Wide architecture that was first seen on the new Giulietta. Up first in the Italian production line will be the Jeep Compass and Patriot, both of which aren’t exactly ugly as it is and one, is actually pretty good.

For Alfa Romeo, the architecture will assist them in producing a rival to the Audi Q5 and BMW X3, but in that good old Italian tradition, both are years late, as the Germans have just about perfected both of their entry-level SUVs.

Jeep will get more than half of the annual production, around 150,000 units of the 280,000 being created. Alfa will get the remaining units and half of every model built will be shipped across the pond to the United States. These new machines will be a massive player in Alfa’s American re-launch.

Hard to predict how Americans will take to an Italian Jeep. Chrysler has been shoving America down our throats with patriotic advertising, so all that might need to change if this new adventure is going to succeed. That being said, an Italian designed Jeep with off-road ability does sound pretty good, as long as it doesn't fall apart.

[Autocar]

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