Alfa Romeo’s return to U.S. pushed to 2013 due to design issues

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 10, 2011

Sources told Automotive News Europe that there is at least a half-year delay in the return of Alfa Romeo to North America partly as a result of Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne’s dissatisfaction with the cars’ designs that are supposed to lead the way for its comeback.

The delay is a problem to Alfa in Europe since it will have a very weak premium brand lineup in Europe if it didn’t have the Giulia mid-sized sedan and station wagon.

Sources also said that Alfa parent Fiat S.p.A. delayed the arrival date of the Giulia models to mid-2013 from late 2012. The delay was caused primarily by manufacturing and styling problems and also because Marchionne didn’t like the proposals prepared by its creative team located in Turin.

Fiat has yet to comment on the delay. Sources divulged that another reason for the delay of Giulia's launch is that Marchionne is also not pleased with the design proposals from Chrysler’s U.S.-based stylists in Auburn Hills, Michigan, for the Giulia’s two siblings (expected to replace the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger) due in 2013.

These three mid-sized models are linked and their launches are interrelated since they will feature the same platform, powertrains as well as major subsystems. Currently, Fiat owns 25% of Chrysler Group.

There are efforts being made to integrate these two companies. Due to the Giulia’s delay, what European dealers will get next is an all-new compact SUV from Alfa that Fiat will begin to build towards the end of 2012 at the Mirafiori plant in Turin.

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