U.S. debut of Fiat will be made under Alfa Romeo brand

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2010

Although Fiat has finally acquired access to the US market through Chrysler's strong dealer network, its past reputation as a producer of undependable, cheap vehicles might spoil its intentions of re-entering that market. It looks like Fiat's CEO (and also of Chrysler, by the way), Sergio Marchionne is thinking along these when he opted to Alfa Romeo vehicles to the US instead.

Reports are saying that the plan is to bring more high-end Alfa Romeos to the US instead of Fiat models for the purpose of competing with existing European luxury names.

It has been confirmed that only the Fiat 500 will reach the US and will be expected to exist only within its own brand in the same way the German carmaker BMW handles its Mini brand.

Further reports indicate that some of the Alfa Romeos will be built in North America and exported to the European market. One of the main reasons why Fiat sought to acquire a stake in Chrysler is for access to the latter's platforms and that's what's currently happening.

First off, the Italian carmaker will build an Alfa Romeo variant of the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee to be named the GTX and will possibly be produced at the Jefferson Avenue facility of Chrysler.

Further example of platform sharing will be the use of its own C-EVO underpinnings for the next-generation Dodge Caliber and Jeep Liberty in addition to the new Alfa Romeo Milano. In the field of speculation, a Jeep variant of the Fiat Panda will also be produced in the facilities of Chrysler in Toluca, Mexico where the Fiat 500 will also be manufactured.

The greatest challenge confronting Marchionne at this time is coming up with replacement products for the poor sales performance and unpopular mid-sized sedans such as the Dodge Avenger and Chrysler Sebring.

One of the options available to Marchionne is to utilize a shortened variant of the RWD LX platform that is found in the Chrysler 300 and Didge Avenger, the Chrysler 200C concept. Coming with a RWD entry into a typically FWD mid-sized segment could just be the thing for Chrysler.

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