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Alfa to get some attention...?

Is Sergio finally turning some attention to Alfa.....??



Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne says he will appoint an Alfa Romeo boss for North America by year end, as he seeks to get a footing in the U.S., before turning his attention to Europe.

He says it will be easier to re-establish Alfa's credibility in the U.S. than in Europe. The sporty Italian brand's image has been eroded in Europe by years of mediocre quality, outdated engines and aging vehicles that parent Fiat S.p.A. waited too long to redesign.

"We are going to target the U.S. market first and work our way back into Europe," he said in an interview in Turin, Italy. "We have run market tests on the desirability of the Alfa brand in the U.S. and -- notwithstanding our long absence from the market -- it's still one of the best brands in the world, and I think we need to go back and grab it."

Alfa Romeo left the United States in 1995. The brand's boss for North America will come from Fiat-Chrysler ranks, Marchionne told Automotive News, a sister publication of Automotive News Europe.

Fiat dealers to get Alfa

Grady: U.S. dealers will get Alfa vehicles.

In a separate interview, Peter Grady, Chrysler Group's head of network development and fleet, reiterated the company's commitment to bring Alfa Romeo vehicles to U.S. Fiat dealers.

The Fiat brand, which was reintroduced to the United States in March, offers only the 500 subcompact, which will remain the core of its U.S. lineup. Alfa Romeo will produce larger vehicles for the dealers to sell.

In early October, Fiat had 124 U.S. dealerships open and the company is working to have 150 dealerships open by year end, about 20 more than originally planned, Grady said.

Alfa was Marchionne's biggest headache when he took over as Fiat CEO in June 2004 -- and it remains so seven years later, he said. "Alfa continues to be the most difficult thing I need to do."

Marchionne said he inherited various Alfa vehicles that failed to reflect the brand's sporty character, such as the Brera and GT coupes, the Spider roadster and the 159 mid-sized sedan and wagon.

Alfa's sales have been disappointing, and company executives have scaled back overly optimistic sales goals. In 2006, Marchionne said he wanted to double Alfa sales to 300,000 units in four years, but 2010 global sales were just 115,000 units.

Last month, Alfa Romeo CEO Harald Wester reduced the 2014 target to 400,000 units and this year's goal to a mere 155,000 units.


Chrysler to the rescue

Marchionne: 85,000 U.S. Alfa sales in 2014

But thanks to Chrysler, Marchionne now has larger platforms and engines that Alfa Romeo can use, allowing development costs to be spread over higher sales volumes.

For instance, the company plans to downsize and modify Chrysler's 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine for Alfa, Marchionne says.

Fiat early this month announced it would produce a direct-injection, turbocharged 1.8-liter gasoline engine, scheduled to appear in 2013. In Marchionne's view, this was the first step to create sporty powertrains for Alfa Romeo.

Despite the most recent delay in Alfa Romeo's reintroduction to the United States -- now set for mid-2013 at the earliest -- Marchionne is convinced his original target of 85,000 sales in 2014 is still realistic.

"It should be, simply because of what's being offered at the time of the launch," he said.

Alfa Romeo's latest plan for the United States calls for importing in mid-2013 a coupe with a rear-mounted engine and rear drive. The coupe was previewed by the 4C concept.

Also due in 2013 is a crossover that will share underpinnings with the Jeep Liberty replacement. It will be manufactured in the United States.

In 2014, Alfa is set to enter the core of the U.S. market with two mid-sized cars, the Giulia sedan and wagon. The two Giulias, replacements for the Europe-only 159 models, will share underpinnings with the Chrysler 200 replacement, which is due in 2013. The 200 replacement, as well as the two Giulias, will be built in the United States.

Also in the works are an imported five-door compact that could appear in the United States in 2013, along with a Spider roadster and a large sedan both set for 2014.



Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dl...#ixzz1b2LaoUCq
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Is Sergio finally turning some attention to Alfa.....??

For instance, the company plans to downsize and modify Chrysler's 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine for Alfa, Marchionne says.

Fiat early this month announced it would produce a direct-injection, turbocharged 1.8-liter gasoline engine, scheduled to appear in 2013. In Marchionne's view, this was the first step to create sporty powertrains for Alfa Romeo.
Two engines with similar outputs. That doesn't sound like Sergio the accountant. Fishy.
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Both the Giulias to be built in the US... interesting
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Both the Giulias to be built in the US... interesting
If the Giulia (for the European market) is built in the States, then my current 159, may well be may first and last Alfa Romeo. Alfa Romeos should be built in Italy, I dont care about where they are built for the U.S. market so long as we can buy Italian ones.
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That article reads like Fiat propaganda, aimed at Automotive News' American audience. And if they really use the name "Alfa Romeo North America", that would be... amusing.

Alfa is now so far from what it once was (both good and bad), that I don't think it really matters where they are built any more. Another thing you need to consider is that there are a lot of politics behind all of this; Marchionne is trying to break an Italian union system that is centuries old. (Think M. Thatcher Vs the Miners).

Fiat likes to talk the talk, but they can rarely manage to walk the walk. The bottom line for Alfas' European dealers is that they are in for a couple of very difficult years.
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If the target is American then that isn't going to be good for Europe, I think Europe has very different ideas about what makes a car good than the Americans. They'll be 4 supersized cup holders on the dash, lap trays for mcdonalds drive through meals and extra wide seats for 18 stone children.

Also the comments about the previous cars not being sporty is interesting, the GT was, although I agree the others mentioned are large arse cars, especially the Brera with it's fat bum.
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If the target is American then that isn't going to be good for Europe, I think Europe has very different ideas about what makes a car good than the Americans. They'll be 4 supersized cup holders on the dash, lap trays for mcdonalds drive through meals and extra wide seats for 18 stone children.

Also the comments about the previous cars not being sporty is interesting, the GT was, although I agree the others mentioned are large arse cars, especially the Brera with it's fat bum.
Agree completely, except for the Brera bit, compared to the likes of the chrysler 300c it is slim and nimble, it would be a treat for the U.S.A market!
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Its a gobal market nowadays I'm afraid, for all car manufacturers Alfa will not exist as a Italy only manufacturer ... I used to feel the same... but now as long as they stick to the core values.

Its easy to stereotype US people as all fat, lazy, stoopid etc etc ... but its simply not accurate.

I would say I thought the Brera was overweight and had a huge arse however ... the concept was longer and better looking.
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And the Brera concept had a bigger engine than what ended up on the production line!

FIAT's Italy factories are extremely unproductive and costly... Their Brazilian and Polish Factories produce a lot more cars with the same man power. From a finance perspective its good to shift some of the production to other locations! At least the 1.8l 224kw engine will be built in Italy.
 
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I suspect FIAT are using the threat of US production as a stick to help them update the Italian workforces attitude. Also the whole Italian economy is very shaky so spreading the production risk is a sensible business move.
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How long since BMW or Mercedes were built in Germany? Bloody long time. Do they still have great reputations? YES!

Alfa still built in Italy still with the same Italian reputation. They have nothing to lose moving production elsewhere. People say they like Alfa but would not own one, that is the perception that needs to change. Which is funny considering that the more boring you make the Alfa, the less attractive they become to the market. It's like they can't man up to Alfa and just get that Volkswagen which has better NVH levels instead.

Last edited by DAL32; 21-10-11 at 09:11. Reason: whoops
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAL32
People say they like Alfa but would own one..
I assume you mean would not? I would certainly agree with that.
The car will always be Italian...unless Americans start designing them That said one of the other cars I love are the noughties Mercedes CLK which is an American design (on the C class) I believe and is certainly manufactured in the US.
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Edited my post.
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The alfa cuv will get a base engine from FG , probably the 1.4 liter turbo. Optional engines will be the 2.0 and 2.4 liter chrysler multi-airs, possibly using the tigershark 2.4 turbo for a QV. A chrysler or FG TCT will be offered along with a possible AWD option.
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Both the Giulias to be built in the US... interesting
"The 22,000 factory workers in Italy assembled 650,000 cars in 2009, while the 6,100 employees at its plant in Tychy, Poland, built 600,000 vehicles. Without taking into account differences in models or working hours, the Italian workers made 30 cars a year on average, compared with almost 100 in Poland.

In addition to lower productivity, Italian workers cost 27.69 euros an hour, more than three times the 7.52 euros in Poland, according to data from German auto industry group VDA.
"

Add the industries worst production quality standards (that I can personally vouch for), and it's pretty clear that Italy is no place to make cars.
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Is it really that important where cars are built?

Is a Nissan Qashqai a Japanese car? What about the Honda Civic? (Both built in the UK).

Is the Nissan Micra a Japanese car? Is the Hyundai i10 a Korean car? (Both built in India).

Numerous BMWs and Mercedes are built in the US, but are still considered to be German.

One of the many 116 Giuliettas that I have owned was built in South Africa, and I never considered it to be any less an Alfa Romeo than the others.
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Its more of the case of who designs them and how they are designed, the factories get more modern and in ways i hope robots do most of the work of puting the cars together, if i see leaf springs though

I hope the material and build quality will continue to compete with Audi/BMW rather than trying to save a buck, the American market has a reputation for poor use of materials etc etc
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