Sergio Marchionne confirms Alfa Romeo's return to the USA
yesterday's conference call to announce Fiat's first quarter
financial results, CEO Sergio Marchionne confirmed that Alfa
Romeo is gearing up for an imminent return to the USA.
Fiat's Alfa Romeo division has long eyed a full-scale return
to the hugely lucrative United States market which it
withdrew from more than a decade ago, but several ambitious
target dates in recent years have had to be postponed.
However with a new model range that has been engineered from
the outset to meet stringent US crash and safety regulations
Fiat CEO Marchionne has been putting a careful timetable in
place to realise this ambition.
the new strategic relationship between Fiat's Maserati and
Alfa Romeo brands will be that Alfa Romeo's model range will
be distributed through the US-based Maserati dealer network,
which itself over the last year, has been separated from its
previous union with Ferrari. Maserati CEO Karl-Heinz
Kalbfell who has been working on the long-term future of the
two Fiat Auto brands as one of his roles, has been drawing
up fresh plans along with James Selwa, the former
Rolls-Royce North America CEO who Kalbfell brought in to
take charge of Maserati North America once it was removed
from Maranello's control and returned to the Fiat Auto fold.
No timetable has been laid out yet, but it is expected it
could come as early as late next year.
Launch models are likely to comprise of the
evocative members of Alfa Romeo's new 'breed' of
sports models: the Alfa 159, Brera and Spider.
During yesterday's conference call to announce
Fiat's first quarter financial results, CEO Sergio
Marchionne confirmed that Alfa Romeo is gearing up
for an imminent return to the USA.
Launch models are likely to comprise of the evocative
members of Alfa Romeo's new 'breed' of sports models: the
Alfa 159, Brera and Spider. Also into the mix is likely to
be added the 8c Competizione with a chunk of the 500-unit
production run of this 'halo' model scheduled for
commercialisation next year heading across the Atlantic. The
8c Competizione coupé is itself an excellent example of the
new partnership between Alfa Romeo and Maserati as it will
be based on the latter's forthcoming Coupé/Spyder
architecture and will incorporate its new 4.7-litre V8
Meanwhile the Italian ULIM union was quick to express its
full support for the decision to return to North America.
"The fact that Alfa Romeo is returning to the US market is
good news for the Fiat Group, and especially for the factory
at Pomigliano d'Arco, Naples, where the production of models
147 and 159 is increasing. When Italian models are
successful abroad, it's something to be proud of," UILM
General-Secretary Antonino Ragazzi told the AGI news
agency yesterday. "The Fiat factory of Pomigliano is hiring
more and more young workers, to boost production and
Photos: Roland Ellison / ©
2006 Interfuture Media/Italiaspeed