Editorial

Alfa Romeo: Deliver More Than Just the 4C or Else...

We love ya Alfa, and we'd hate for you to fail (and to see VW potentially buy you from Fiat).

Alfa Romeo has been promising a triumphant return to the North American market for some time now. Unfortunately, that re-launch has been delayed ad nauseum. Things were supposed to kick off with the all-new 4C, but even that sexy coupe took a while to reach production. Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has also promised that the 4C won’t be the only Alfa model in the US. An entirely new lineup is coming, and all will be rear-wheel-drive.

A brand new RWD platform is in the works that’ll serve as the cornerstone for a new sedan that’ll take on the likes of the BMW 3 Series. And yes, Mazda will also build a new Alfa Spyder using the platform of the next MX-5. So, on paper at least, things are looking good for Alfa. But here’s the thing: nothing substantial has happened yet. Yes, the 4C is now launching (finally!), but no more than 3,500 per year will be built globally. Now that Fiat fully owns Chrysler, there’s a US dealer network nearly in place, and it needs cars to sell. So where are those cars? Stuck in development. And which dealers will sell them? Maserati or Fiat?

Those are all questions that need fast solutions. In this industry timing is everything, and Alfa Romeo is running out of it. Volkswagen has been very vocal about its desire to add Alfa Romeo to its list of brands, but Marchionne refuses to sell. And now that Alfa’s North American launch has been delayed yet again, VW is smelling blood. We’d hate to see Fiat forced to sell Alfa for financial reasons, preferring it to remain under Italian – not German – ownership. But if Marchionne and crew can’t get Alfa fully up and running in the US soon, VW could make Fiat an offer it can’t refuse.

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