As the seasons turn and the sun doth revolve around the earth, so do the regular announcements of Alfa Romeo’s delay in America arrive at our ears with the regularity of clockwork. Last word we received from Alfa Romeo and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne, Alfa Romeo was supposed to return at the end of 2013. Before that, it was supposed to be here this year (two of the cars that we won’t get are shown above, but more on that later). And before that, we would have already been pootling about in our sleek, Italian sports sedans, beautiful machines designed with passion and brio and andiamo and fortissimo and cappuccino and puttanesca and all that jazz.
We’d have a Giulia in America at the same time as Europe, a mid-size sports sedan that would have been a volume seller compared to the exotic 4C sports car. Those would have been here next summer. On that timescale, Alfa Romeo would be selling 85,000 cars that year by 2014, for a total of 500,000 cars worldwide. Wait, make that 400,000 units—Marchionne lowered the sales target last September. It’s still a lofty target: last year, Alfa Romeo sold 132,000 cars, a long shot from either of these goals. If wishful thinking is what you want, the Italians rarely fail to disappoint.
Ah, but that was the last plan. At the end of October, Marchionne will unveil a new timetable for Alfa Romeo’s international expansion, with a revised schedule for its American arrival. (Technically, Alfa Romeo is already here; if you miss the Biscione badge that much, you can pop on down to the Dupont Registry and plonk down $229,995 for a limited-edition 8C Competizione.)
The Giulia has undergone several delays as Marchionne keeps rejecting its styling proposals, which here takes on more emphasis than at, say, Toyota. Both sedan and wagon are due in 2014, and owing to Fiat’s ownership of Chrysler, could be built in America and exported to Europe instead of the other way around. An SUV (because as we all know, every carmaker in America needs an SUV under penalty of treason) based on the next Jeep Liberty could be part of the American plan as well, with a 2014 timetable. And the roadster that Alfa is working on with Mazda will be pushed back to 2015, sometime after the next Miata drops in 2014. One gets the impression that the Italianate way of life, which presumably includes lots of Nazionali Filtereds and cheap limoncello from the bottle, is helping Alfa Romeo cancel such wildly diverse projects as a large luxury sedan, a compact SUV, and the bringing of the redesigned Giulietta (née Dodge Dart) and an equally refreshed MiTo to our Jersey shores.
Geez, guys. At this rate, the next Alfa Romeo we buy in America will be capable of flight.
Source: Automotive News