Earlier this year, our European correspondent Georg Kacher detailed Alfa Romeo’s new plan which includes an exclusively rear- and all-wheel-drive lineup to better compete with German luxury brands like BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Now, according to an Automotive News report, comments from Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne confirm this revival strategy for Alfa Romeo that includes a new architecture that will underpin Alfa Romeo’s new lineup.
Alfa Romeo is a struggling brand in Europe as well as globally, so it needs new models to help invigorate sales. As we reported in July, Alfa wants to hit 300,000 annual sales by 2016 -- versus just 100,000 units now. Marchionne’s plan for a new rear- and all-wheel drive platform would result in at least four new Alfa Romeo models, including the Alfa Romeo Giulia midsize sedan and wagon, a larger flagship sedan, and a midsize SUV. The first of these new Alfa Romeos will allegedly debut in Europe by late 2015 or early 2016. This proposed lineup matches well with Kacher’s predictions, which called for BMW 3- and 5-series competitors from Alfa by 2015 or 2016, as well as an X1 and X3 SUV competitor by 2017 and 2018, respectively.
AN reports that all of these models will eventually be sold in the U.S. as well, although Alfa Romeo’s impending U.S. debut with the Alfa Romeo 4C sports car has been delayed numerous times. It is now supposed to go on sale in the second quarter of 2014 through the network of approximately 70 Maserati dealerships in the U.S. This limited dealer network could also pose a problem for Alfa Romeo in the U.S., although the Fiat brand, which has around 210 U.S. dealerships, could be another channel for future Alfa Romeo models.
Eventually, AN suggests that this Alfa Romeo platform could be modified for use in future versions of the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, and Dodge Challenger. As we reported earlier this year, that trio of cars could be renewed by 2018.
Look for the 2014 Alfa Romeo 4C to (hopefully) arrive in the U.S. in mid-2014, and let’s hope that this revival will result in more Alfa Romeo models coming to our shores. Marchionne told AN that he expects to be able to better outline Alfa Romeo's future plans "at the end of the first quarter of 2014."