No doubt car enthusiasts were waiting anxiously for the re-introduction of Alfa Romeo back into the United States especially after it became clear that Fiat, Alfa Romeo’s maker, would partner with one of the Detroit Three — Chrysler. But it appears that Alfa isn’t coming any time soon.
Alfa has been experiencing some major problems of its own. Sales in Europe are down drastically and Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat, is trying to figure out what to do to stop the bleeding. He has recently announced the merger of Alfa Romeo with the Abarth and Maserati brands to form a new brand group. There has also been talk that Fiat would cease investing in the name or figure out a way to use Chrysler platforms to refresh it.
In 2001, Alfa Romeo sold 207,000 units. Last year it sold 103,000. Marchionne says that he hopes Alfa can sell 300,000 cars by 2011.
It appears that lack of continuity has hurt the once iconic brand. There have been four chief executives that have controlled Alfa and all have departed relatively quickly.
Despite the problems, Marchionne said that Alfa Romeo is not for sale and he is not looking for anyone to partner with it.
There is some hope that a new Giulietta sporting saloon carrying the Alfa badge will help to resurrect the brand. The car will have a new underbody architecture that will be used as the foundation of a number of new Alfa models. If this occurs, and sales go north, than plans to bring Alfa here may be back on track.