Alfa has rekindled its long lost love with a mature lady: Aunt America.
Last December, Cammy Corrigan reported on TTAC that there are “very important opportunities for Alfa Romeo in the United States.” At least in the eyes of Luca di Montezemolo, Chairman of Fiat. Despite being the object of unconditional admiration of Alfa-crazed owners, commonly known as “Alfisti,” Fiat’s sporty brand has reportedly lost €200m-€400m per year for the last decade. So something needs to be done.
“Andiamo a America,” appears to be la soluzione in Torino. Reuters reports that “Alfa Romeo is likely to return to North America by 2012 after a 15-year hiatus.” Alfas were last sold in America in 1995.
“I’m a lot more confident now … that Alfa Romeo will reconstitute a product offering that is acceptable globally, and more in particular in the United States and Canada,” Sergio Marchionne said in Toronto. “There is a strong likelihood that the brand will be back here within the next 24 months.”
And because he was in Toronto, Marchionne mumbled that it may be possible that Canada “may play a roll” (phrasing by Reuters) in manufacturing the Alfa Romeo. The nature of the roll remained unexplained. Apart from the impending roll in the hay, it could be anything from a roller bearing to a production line from which Alfas roll, bound for the former land of plenty.
As for Alfa’s chances to convert a lot of Americans into Alfisti: Well, cougars are big these days, and we are not talking Mercurys. In the words of Simon and Garfunkel: “God bless you please Mrs. Robinson. Heaven holds a place for those who pray, hey hey hey.”