At the end of the year, there will be a new Alfa Romeo boss for North America, according to Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne. He aims to make an impact in the U.S. before concentrating in Europe.
He believes that it will not be as difficult to restore its reputation in the U.S. compared to Europe where the image of the sporty Italian brand has been hurt by the years of mediocre quality, obsolete engines and old vehicles that Fiat S.p.A. had taken too long to redesign. He also said that market tests have been conducted on the Alfa brand’s desirability in the U.S.
He added that the brand has not been present in the market for a long time but it’s still among the top global brands. It was in 1995 when Alfa Romeo departed from the U.S. In an interview with Automotive News, Marchionne said that he will appoint someone from Fiat-Chrysler ranks. Chrysler Group's head of network development and fleet, Peter Grady, said that the company remains committed to offer Alfa Romeo vehicles to Fiat dealers in the U.S.
Only the 500 subcompact version has been offered by the U.S. dealers since last March. However, this version will still be the core of its lineup in the U.S. Alfa Romeo will be producing bigger vehicles for the U.S. dealers.
As of early October, Fiat had 124 dealerships in the U.S. but by the end of the year, it will have 150 dealerships – about 20 more dealerships than the original plan. Marchionne reiterated that Alfa Romeo still represents his biggest challenge.