Alfa Romeo dealers in North America expected to provide luxury services

Article by Andrew Christian, on September 2, 2014

Chrysler Group is expecting dealers for Alfa Romeo in the United States and Canada to provide luxury services to customers even though they are only bound to sell just a limited number of cars in the next two years. Dealers for Alfa Romeo will only be allocated with around 1,500 4Cs annually in the US and Canada.

Around 87 of them – the first batch of dealers granted with Alfa Romeo franchises -- will receive their 4C allocation this month, Chrysler said. Chrysler has vowed to have a full lineup of vehicles at showrooms by 2016.

Executives are expecting Alfa Romeo dealers to provide customers luxury services like home pickup and delivery of vehicles for service and technician-led performance briefings. Peter Grady, Chrysler's head of dealer network development, remarked that dealers have to be closer to what customers may require.

He described an Alfa Romeo buyer as “a Viper customer.” Grady remarked that for instance, once a 4C is delivered, service technicians will "put the car on the lift, show the customer underneath the car what they can expect" from the suspension and for performance.

The second batch of Alfa Romeo franchises will be awarded to US and Canadian dealers by November while the third batch will be granted in the first quarter of 2015, Grady disclosed. He added that Alfa Romeo’s sales network should expand to around 300 dealerships in the US and Canada and will consist primarily of current Fiat and Maserati dealerships.

Fiat or Maserati dealerships that gained high customer-satisfaction scores were the first ones to be granted with Alfa Romeo franchises. Grady described them "are our best and brightest." He noted that their dealers performed very well, adding that their facilities are in great shape.

He remarked that future dealers should try to catch up to the performance of the first batch. Lisa Copeland, general manager of Fiat of Austin in Texas, told Automotive News that new Alfa Romeo dealerships like hers are ready to provide concierge-type service as the carmaker requires.

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