Coming to America: Alfa Romeo

Coming to America: Alfa Romeo

Steve’s breakdown: My Italian-American family has been waiting for a long time for Alfa to come back to America! There has been no word on an agency-of-record but they are going to need one so hit the phones.

BTW: Last May we reported Fiat + Mazda = New Roadsters including Alfas.

AUBURN HILLS, MI: The Alfa Romeo 4C, a lightweight, rear-wheel-drive sports car, is expected to come to the U.S. by the end of 2013, Chrysler Group LLC and Fiat SpA CEO Sergio Marchionne said Friday.

“We’re finalizing the car now, so it should be here by the end of the year,” Marchionne said after an InForum breakfast Friday in Detroit. “It’s ready in the sense of all the work with architecture and types of models.”

Marchionne’s announcement that the 4C would be ready for the U.S. by year’s end contradicts a statement he made earlier in the week at the North American International Auto Show, when he said it would delayed.

Marchionne said the powertrain in the 4C and other Alfa Romeo cars would be built in Italy. Fiat hasn’t been able to finalize all elements of a U.S. launch of Alfa Romeo.

The new 4C debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2011. It will be the first mass-produced Alfa Romeo to be sold in the United States since the carmaker stopped exporting cars here in 1995.

The sports car, which Alfa Romeo says can go from zero to 62 in less than five seconds, is being developed through an agreement between Fiat and Mazda, which became official Friday, to jointly produce convertible two-seater Alfa Romeo and Mazda sports cars.

“I think it’s going to create a lot of support for Alfa coming back to the United States,” Marchionne said of the agreement.

“It’s ready in the sense that a lot of work has gone on in terms of architectures and models. We need to make sure we hit the powertrains.”

The Italian and Japanese carmakers said Friday that the roadsters will go into production at Mazda’s plant in Hiroshima, Japan, in 2015.

Cars produced as part of the Fiat and Mazda agreement will be based on the same platform — the next generation of the iconic Mazda MX-5 — but will have different styling and engines.

The carmakers signed a memorandum of understanding in May.

Fiat, which acquired Alfa Romeo in 1986, is planning to launch nine new Alfa Romeos by 2016 as part of its strategy to focus on higher-margin luxury cars and launch Alfa into a global brand. Most will be produced in Italy to help return European operations to profitability and revive production at underutilized plants.

The automaker next plans to make a midsize sedan, the Giulia, for the U.S. market.

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