Alfa Romeo will debut in the US in late 2013, CEO Sergio Marchionne says

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 21, 2013

Alfa Romeo will present a 4C sports car in the U.S. market in late 2013, according to Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of both Fiat SpA and Chrysler Group LLC. More details will arrive in the next two to three months. In a speech he gave to a Detroit businesswomen's group, he said that the company is sure to come back this year with the Alfa Romeo 4C. He said that the car is now being finalized so it’s expected to arrive this year. Raising Alfa sales is the focus of Marchionne’s goal to Fiat's losses in Europe by 2015.

It’s expected that the U.S. auto market will be very competitive this year as automakers hope to generate more sales outside of Europe. A few days ago, Marchionne had been far more cautious about the timetable for when Alfa Romeo is coming back to the U.S., almost 20 years after Fiat discontinued exports of the brand to the country in 1995.

At the Detroit auto show, he said that the 4C was not quite where it has to be before returning to the U.S. market but just last Friday, he exclaimed that it is “ready.” He explained that much progress had been made when it comes to architectures and models. He added that his main objective now is that it “hit the powertrains dead on.”

Fiat and Mazda Motor Corp have inked a deal for Mazda to produce a two-door Alfa Romeo roadster at Mazda's factory in Hiroshima, Japan, as of 2015. He is confident that the Mazda partnership will prop up Alfa's comeback in the U.S. In a separate matter, Marchionne said that Chrysler is about to sign a preferred lender for its auto and dealer financing in the U.S. However, he didn’t identify the bank. Last month, Reuters said that Chrysler was finalizing talks with Banco Santander, the largest bank in Spain. When asked about when this agreement with a financier will be signed, he said that it’s “one bullet away from signing it” but then, the negotiations aren’t over yet.

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