Chrysler Predicts Alfa Romeo Will Outsell Fiat in U.S.

It’s been years of talk of Alfa Romeo’s return to the United States market,  but the release of the 4C later this year should put an end to the talk and  finally put metal (and carbon fiber) on the ground. Chrysler’s wasting no time  dwelling on the 4C, however, because it’s already predicting that Alfa will soon  sell more units than little sibling Fiat.

2013 Fiat 500 Turbo front three quarters view 2 300x187 imageIt doesn’t take a long memory to remember that  Fiat’s relaunch in the United States was a treacherous one, as the diminutive  500 hatchback initially struggled to gain traction. After selling just under  20,000 units in 2011 (well short of its goals), the brand moved 43,772 units in  2012, a much better showing. Here’s hoping that Fiat and Chrysler learned enough  about the hurdles of launching Fiat, because Chrysler Group’s head of network  development Peter Grady recently said that Alfa Romeo will outsell its  sibling.

The reasoning behind that claim is pretty valid: while Fiat will stick with  the 500 and a handful of variants (Abarth, Turbo, C convertible, X crossover,  and L family hatchback), Alfa Romeo will start with the long-awaited 4C sports  coupe later this year and go from there to a more diverse portfolio of cars.  Those cars, as we’ve reported, include the Giulia sedan, a crossover, a  roadster version of the 4C coupe, a rear-wheel drive BMW 3  Series-fighter, and a Spider convertible developed in  conjunction with Mazda’s MX-5 Miata.

Can Alfa Romeo outsell Fiat after all? At this point we’re still cautious,  focusing more on Alfa’s ability to return to the U.S. at all than its long-term  future. But it’s obvious that Chrysler/Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne is standing  behind the storied Italian brand — he said that Alfa’s one of only two Chrysler  Group/Fiat SpA brands that have true global appeal. The other, of course, is  Jeep.

 

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