Report: Alfa Romeo delays the launch of new models in the United States

Article by Christian A., on September 15, 2011

Due to the euro debt crisis, Fiat and Chrysler are re-examining the timing of its vehicle introductions, according to Fiat chief executive Sergio Marchionne who was interviewed at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show. As the result of the poor economic outlook, the launch of Alfa Romeo’s new models has been delayed or cancelled.

Fiat’s sporty brand has dropped plans to launch a midsized SUV that’s due in 2014. A compact SUV was expected in 2012 but it has been pushed back to 2013. The introduction of the Alfa Romeo Giulia midsized car had been slated for 2012 but it was moved to 2014.

Meanwhile, a new Spider will be launched in 2014, instead of 2013, says Autonews. Alfa Romeo CEO Harald Wester presented the product changes to financial analysts at the auto show last Wednesday. Because of these changes, Alfa has decreased its annual sales target by 2014 from 500,000 units to 400,000 units.

This move comes after the comments made last Tuesday at the show with regards to the poor state of Europe’s economy. Marchionne said that the company is studying volumes and the timing of new products to determine when they have to be launched.

Alfa Romeo considers the Giulia as a key car. It is expected to replace the Alfa Romeo 159. The brand is currently planning the sedan and station wagon versions.

Since 18 months ago, Marchionne has rejected three rounds of styling proposals for this car. In fact, the only Alfa model that didn’t postpone its 2013 launch is the five-door MiTo subcompact. The Alfa 4C coupe will be delayed slightly.

From the end of 2012, its launch has been moved to mid-2013. A large Alfa sedan, which was derived from the next generation Maserati Quattroporte, will be launched after 2014 rather than the cancelled midsized SUV. Wester also said that Alfa plans to sell around 155,000 units globally in 2011. In 2009 and 2010, it sold around 115,000 units.

The Alfa Romeo 4C Concept is currently being showcased in Frankfurt for the 64th International Motor Show, months after it global launch in April at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. Compared to the one displayed in Geneva, the one being shown in Frankfurt boasts of an exclusive and new exterior of “fluid metal”.

The Alfa Romeo 4C Concept vehicle is deemed worthy to be dubbed as a “supercar” thanks to its weight of about 850 kg and an engine delivering at least 200 bhp of max output, resulting to a power-to-weight ratio of not greater than 4 kg per horsepower.

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