Alfa Romeo Delay Angers Current Fiat Dealers

The recent announcement that Alfa Romeo has delayed its U.S. relaunch one year, to 2013, should not come as a surprise to those following the brand. This is the same brand that for 10 years has teased, taunted, and promised to make a return back to our shores, but has never delivered. However, to Fiat dealers that bought in to the brand only to buy Alfa Romeo dealerships, this recent announcement has them not only surprised, but also incensed.

Dealers are shocked because Alfa’s return was more certain than ever this time around. The reason is twofold. One, Alfa needed the volume that the American market offers to reach their sales targets. Second, Chrysler corp. was going to share platforms with Alfa so it would be easier to get their cars federalized. This outlook was so promising that Fiat was able to sell a franchise of dealers on the basis that they would be first in line to be able to purchase Alfa Romeo dealerships when the time arose in 2012. But what the dealers did not think of, is what car guys already know; like their cars, Alfa Romeo promises a beautiful, enriching experience that often blows up in a cloud of smoke at a moments notice.

This wait may not seem so bad to the common observer, but they may not understand how the car business works. Every car does not deliver the same amount of profit. You see, the Fiat 500, although a good product, it is not a very profitable one. Dealers bit the bullet for standalone Fiat dealers mainly because they were expecting the first seat at the table when it came to dolling out cash cow Alfa Romeo dealers. Now, due to Alfa Romeo’s delay, dealers are stuck selling low profit 500s for the next few years. If you put off a big breakfast because you were going to a Las Vegas casino buffet for lunch, but lunch never came, you wouldn’t only be starving, you’d be incredibly irate.

Still, Alfa Romeo will make it to our shores. Realistically, it is the only way that the brand can survive. However, how profitable they will be for dealers, how good their products are, and just when they are exactly coming has yet to be seen. For Fiat dealers needing that extra revenue, this wait might just be the kiss of death. For Fiat, it continues a long tradition of mismanaging what should be a blockbuster brand.

Source: Automotive News

  

Great Red Hope

Lotus is getting fat and greedy, Porsche makes more money selling SUVs to housewives than sports car enthusiasts, Aston Martin sells a rebadged Toyota. The world of sports cars is upside down. But there is hope, a small glimmer from the prodigal son of the automotive world: the Alfa Romeo 4C. This September, Alfa Romeo is set to disclose more details on the 4C at this year’s Frankfurt auto show. It may be a revised concept, or maybe, the production model.

This is not just big for car people, but for Alfa Romeo as well. Alfa is putting their hopes for a successful return to the U.S. on the back of a 1,800lb sports car. It also marks a return to Alfa making true sports cars.

The specifics so far point to the 4C as being a lightweight, turbocharged sports car. It will have a carbon fiber tub, RWD, and a turbocharged 4-cyl where it is supposed to be, the back of the car. It will also be priced in the reasonable $50,000-60,000 range. The 4C looks to replace the much loved, but nearly departed, Lotus Elise in the hearts and minds of people that enjoy driving cars, not status symbols. As for more specifics, we will have to wait until Frankfurt.

  

Alfa Romeo to return to North America by 2012

Looks like the big Alpha will be rolling again in the US and Canada in 2012. This is really big news for Chrysler/Fiat and the dealers that get to sell these attractive cars. Look for sleek styling and hopefully top notch quality that could bring in buyers who want the right pricing with as much style as they can afford. Good to see Alpha Romeo coming back to the states!

From AutoGuide.com:

According to Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne, his company’s stylish Alfa Romeo brand will return to North America in the next 24 months, meaning that models should be on sale in 2012. “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,” said Marchionne to Automotive News.

Read the full article here.

  

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