By on April 16, 2008

alfa-romeo-8c-competizione-0.jpgIs there anyone Chryslerberus isn't trying to strike up a deal with? According to Reuters, Germany's Handelsblatt newspaper claims Chrysler is in "quite advanced" talks with Fiat to produce Alfa Romeo cars in the U.S. using Chrysler's factories. The newspaper cited "industry sources" (can you  be any more vague?) as saying "the talks are moving forward." Hang on; isn't that Toyota's tag line? Anyway, Fiat had no comment on the rumor. Chrysler's spokeswoman called the story speculation (ya think?). But she admitted what everyone in Christendom already knows: "there could be other partnerships with other automakers." The questions yet to be answered: will Alfisti accept an Alfa that doesn't come from Lo Stivale? Who has the worse reputation for quality? And why didn't anyone use the date 2010 in this story, except us?

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18 Comments on “Wild Ass Rumor of the Day: Chrysler to Build Alfas...”


  • avatar
    KatiePuckrik

    Wow! And you thought Alfas were unreliable now?! Chrysler might just raise the bar to a whole new level of unreliability…….!

  • avatar
    JJ

    Please say it ain’t so…

    Talk about taking a good idea (bringing modern day Alfas to the US) and then ruining it from the get go…

    A 159 with a sebring quality interior anyone? No? Didn’t think so…

    I hope Chrysler spread this rumor themselves to make it look like they have anything to offer other brands, in case some car company is crazy enough to take over Chrysler and doesn’t realize that they don’t want the kind of access to the US market that Chrysler has to offer (which I think is really about the only asset left for them that might potentially be worth something for someone else).

  • avatar
    Mirko Reinhardt

    Wow… Newer Alfas are actually pretty reliable. Looks like they want to harness the power of Chrysler to re-focus on unreliability as a core value of the Alfa brand.
    The 159 is actually loosely based on GM Epsilon platform parts, and the V6 engine is based on a GM block.

  • avatar
    windswords

    KatiePuckrik,

    Historically Chryslers have always been more reliable than Alpha’s (and FIAT’s, and Maserati’s, and yes even Jaguar). As a matter of fact they have been more reliable than Mercedes (though that’s not saying much), who thought they could teach those ‘poor Amerikaners’ something about quality control (they instead set them back years). I don’t know how Alpha’s are now so I can’t comment on their recent reliablity or lack of it.

    Anyway the bottom line here is that Alpha would use Chrysler facilities to build cars in the US. Chrylser would not build the cars, Alpha will. It will be their designs, their tooling, their engineers. And if they suck, no one but Alpha will be to blame, for Chrysler has some of the most advanced assembly plants in N.A. and is a leader in flex manufacturing.

    Remember what I posted before about car makers not wanting to invest huge sums of money to develope new products or penetrate new markets int the current economic climate? Chrysler is closing one factory and has excess capacity in others. Deals like this can be win-win situations if done right.

    Maybe Alpha can lend Chrysler some interior and exterior designers as part of the deal!

  • avatar
    Mirko Reinhardt

    @windswords
    However band Alfa’s quality control is, I have never seen one of them accidentaly driving around with an “Alpha” badge.

    It’s Alfa, like in (Società) Anonima Lombarda Fabricia Automobili, not “Alpha”.

  • avatar
    jurisb

    Tell me about the golden age of 60ies of car design. Right. But qualitywise Alfa is on par with detroit iron. The same corrosion issues, electronics failure, and sexyness of design. Common, just look at this Alfa, and tell me what can I do with your Duesenberg, or Talbot chrome lamp rim!

  • avatar
    JJ

    the V6 engine is based on a GM block.

    Sadly so I might add, the Alfa V6 it replaces was a magnificent engine to hear and even look at (see link).

    That’s a lot better than the grey plastic you see under the hood these days in every other car.

    It also had a lot of low end grunt, but sadly, it couldn’t be adjusted to new emmission laws anymore and it wasn’t exactly sipping gas so they took the GM V6…Not the best choice of engine if you buy a 159.

  • avatar
    windswords

    Mirko Reinhardt,

    I stand corrected. But I have to say I like “Alpha” better. It seems very Italian to me to say “I’m the dominant one”!

    JJ,
    Your disapointment in Alfa’s use of a GM V6 engine could have a solution if a Chrysler/Alfa joint venture becomes reality:

    http://www.allpar.com/mopar/phoenix-engines.html

  • avatar
    jthorner

    I suspect that the real purpose of these discussions is to put pressure on Renault/Nissan to come to the altar with Chrysler.

  • avatar

    I so want an Alfa. I’d buy one if it were built by thumb-sucking monkeys with pipe wrenches in Timbuktu. Or two headed dogs in Detroit for that matter.

    Make it a Spider with the JTDM engine please.

    –chuck
    http://chuck.goolsbee.org

  • avatar
    menno

    Chrysler’s Phoenix V6 seems awfully familiar. Hmm, I’ve got it. Hyundai’s new for 2006 V6’s, already improved for 2009!

    So, Chrysler’s new hot V6’s are going to only come on the market 5 years after Hyundai’s eh?

    Wow, I’m impressed (NOT).

  • avatar

    If this means more choices for us then this is a good thing for the consumers as well as Chrysler.

  • avatar
    windswords

    Menno,

    That depends. Does the Hyundai V6 have their version of MDS? Does it have DI? Does it have dual variable valve timing (VVT)? Does it have a two-stage oil pump? Does it have a camless design? (This is being considered for the Phoenix project). Is it a modular design? Is it built at a flex factory that will allow the mix to be changed quickly and easily?

    And if Hyundai came out with a V6 with these features first, does that mean that Chrysler shouldn’t?

  • avatar
    Stingray

    It’s Azienda Lombarda Fabbricazione Automobili… that’s how ALFA began.

    Anyway, Fiat pointed some weeks ago, that they would find an US partner to manufacture cars to be sold in your market.

    And the products would range from Fiat and Alfa cars to Iveco trucks.

    Who cares if Chrysler assemble it?. Do you really think that one of the US manufacturers, or foreing ones will care is the V6 comes from Toyota, Honda, Nissan, GM, Ford or whatever if you fill their plants with so much needed production… give me a break. In fact, the question is… who cares about who assembles the car?.

    CKD kits most probably will come from Italy until mass production is reached… or some parts localization takes place… anyway I honestly doubt engines and gearboxes will be manufactured in the US… so… drivetrain and other components quality will come from Italy and assembly quality will come from the US.

    Fiat Group has it’s own engines and in some cases (JTD) very bright engines. If they used a GM V6 or 4 cilinder, what’s wrong?, they had a partnership, and I bet they only used the shortblock… heads and manifolds and engine management are propietary Alfa or Fiat stuff… and THAT is what defines engine characteristics.

    The italians got aggresive. Nice.

  • avatar
    MLS

    What in the world does Hyundai’s (underwhelming) V6 have to do with Chrysler’s upcoming Phoenix series? Are we to believe that Hyundai is superior because that company released a completely unrelated engine before the Phoenix’ debut?

    On another note, the incessant bashing of Chrysler reliability is getting old. Last I checked, they weren’t at the bottom of any meaningful list.

  • avatar
    BabyM

    If “FIAT” stands for “Fix It Again Tony!”, what does “ALFA” stand for?

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    Next step, spin of all the manufacturing while selling rebadged cars down the sales channel. I am still convinced they intend to leave chrysler as a “virtual” automotive company.

  • avatar
    Stingray

    It’s easy… domestic manufacturers will have free capacity… foreign (Euro or Japan or somewhere else) companies can capitalize it and domestics can fill their plants with products…

    The one that choose this route will kinda degrade from proper “manufacturer” to “assembler”.

    But if they’re about to stay alive, they should not discard this option… at least for short term


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