Sergio Marchionne, chief executive of Fiat S.p.A. and Chrysler Group, will release on Oct. 30, 2012, a new timetable for Alfa Romeo's upcoming models and international expansion plans. This raises hopes that Alfa Romeo will finally return to the United States this year, as promised by Marchionne in 2011. That time, Fiat’s CEO pledged that Alfa Romeo would make a U.S. comeback in late 2012 with a few units of the 4C limited-edition coupe, a prelude to a full return in mid-2013 with a compact crossover. Then, the Giulia mid-sized sedan would follow by the end of 2013 at the earliest. However, things might go the way Marchionne promised, since none of those models seem to be on schedule.
While the 4C production model will probably be launched at the Detroit auto show in January 2013, it remains unclear if the Alfa Romeo model would be rolled out in the US. Although a large crossover or sports utility vehicle might be rolled out in late 2014, it also remains unclear when the Giulia will go on sale. Marchionne's original plan entailed North America accounting for 85,000 of Alfa Romeo's 500,000 total sales by 2014. The global sales target, however, was lowered in September 2011 to 400,000 units, partly due to delays in the redesign of the Giulia sedan and of larger vehicles, as well as the dwindling European market.
On the other hand, the Italian media are speculating that Fiat would sell Alfa Romeo to Volkswagen AG. It could be recalled that two years ago, Ferdinand Piech, chairman of VW's supervisory board, revealed that the carmaker was interested in Alfa Romeo, although there was no hurry to acquire the Italian company. Fiat, however, has declared that its Alfa is not for sale. As a matter of fact, Fiat inked a memorandum of understanding with Mazda Motor Corp. in May 2012 to jointly develop and produce a new Alfa roadster.