By on February 25, 2014

Alfa Romeo 4C

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is set to bring Alfa Romeo back into the United States market after a two-decade absence with the 4C, but only the best-performing Fiat dealerships will be selected to sell the first new Alfas when the lighweight $60,000 sports car rolls off the dock in June.

The Detroit News reports the majority of Fiat dealerships who were promised an Alfa wing will not be along for the ride in 2014. FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne stated that his company would only allow “the best-performing Fiat dealers to participate” based on “simple dealer metrics” and efficacy in representing Fiat. Though he also added that said dealers knew who they were, FCA spokesman Rick Deneau countered his boss’s statement, saying that those dealers “have not been identified yet.”

While the 4C will be the only Alfa offering available this year, it will be joined in 2015 by the Giulia, Giulietta and a new Spider co-developed with Mazda, which will also underpin the latter’s new MX-5 roadster. The 4C is motivated by a turbocharged four-pot driving 240 horses out of the back gate, pushing the 1875-pound sports car from naught to 60 in 4.5 seconds.

However, follow-through hasn’t been FCA’s strong suit regarding Alfa’s return, with the brand originally promised to Fiat dealers in 2012, then last year before settling upon June 2014. The return was also promised to come with a full lineup to display in showrooms, but only the 4C will be setting the pace this year as it goes up against the Porsche Cayman and Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.

According to IHS Automotive, selected Fiat dealers will move 500 4Cs in 2014, with 8,400 more in 2015 once more dealers join the fray. IHS also expects Alfa to move 28,000 units in the U.S. by the end of 2016.

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31 Comments on “Only Select Fiat Dealers Will Get Alfa Romeo Franchises...”


  • avatar
    FJ60LandCruiser

    Top Gear lamented how bare-ass cheap the interior of this thing was.

    Desptie how great of a driver’s car it may be, the fact that they’re selling it for 60k with interior build quality of a Trabant will mean that only a select few who feel that they want something more expensive and less reliable than their Lotus will buy one.

    60 large is a lot of money, and unless this thing has a different interior from the Euro spec car, you have to be an idiot to buy it over a much nicer Porsche or BMW.

    …and spare me the driving pleasure BS, and how this is a “purist’s” car, none of those people would ever shell out their hard earned cash to buy one.

    This thing, then, is just a bloated FR-S for 2.5x the price.

  • avatar
    Detroit-X

    “Select Dealers?” Umm, the dumber ones?

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      Kidding? This thing will move more Abarths than the whipped milk ad did. I might go see one, they’re very easy on the eyes. And once I’m in the mood I may test drive an Abarth, which I can afford.

  • avatar
    mjz

    Now that Sergio has his hands in Chrysler’s cash stash, expect to see Alfa here in full force.

  • avatar
    wmba

    The Euro spec is more like 2100 lbs, the North American version is likely to weigh 2600 lbs, according to Car and Driver.

    We shall see.

    ” Things you should know: Alfa trumpets a base curb weight of fewer than 2100 pounds, but U.S.-bound models will be about 2650, which factors in two side and two knee airbags, other mandated equipment, and a number of options that will likely be standard here, including air conditioning, power seats, and parking ensors. A “quiet” exhaust with a muffler will be offered. “

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Two things.

    One, if Alfa Romeo is coming to the States anytime soon, these “select dealers” absolutely need to know who they are…so that they can prepare!

    Two, I’m unimpressed by the 4C, not because it isn’t a capable machine, but because parent-company Fiat has clearly failed to recognize the difference between what enthusiasts *say they want* and what they *actually want*. Does anyone really want a bare-bones car with a harsh ride, flimsy components, and that costs $60K? I would honestly be more impressed if Alfa Romeo made a more-sensible car…something to answer to the Jaguar F-Type and Porsche Boxster and Cayman, which are cars that, while impractical, are comfortable and luxurious enough to be driven daily.

    People are celebrating the return of Alfa Romeo and of no-nonsense, no-frills sports cars, but—unless Alfa can put out some *relevant* performance cars—all I see is a very short stay.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Right, but no frills also keeps the price down somewhat, and honestly…would YOU pay Jag F-type or Porsche Boxster money for an Alfa, which got run out of the country 20 odd years ago for reliability issues, and is just now coming back?

      I wouldn’t. The Jag is considerably more expensive than the Alfa for starters, and Boxsters routinely run $70,000 when you add any options (technically, the base price is lower than the Alfa’s, but good luck finding one with no options).

      Alfa needs to rebuild its brand. It’s not even remotely ready to compete with the likes of Jaguar or Porsche yet. It makes sense to keep the price down for now.

      (And I don’t have a whole lot of confidence in the brand surviving its’ re-entry anyway)

    • 0 avatar
      daver277

      ‘focus groups’ have screwed up more pure cars than I can count by saying it has to have all the crap on suburban dwellers wish list.
      IE for $60K it better have 4WD – LOL

  • avatar
    bucksnort

    I am hesitant to make this comment, but, isn’t that front end the infamous flying vagina from the old Subaru Tribeca?

    If so, wouldn’t it be just as unattractive here as there?

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Well, not exactly. The traditional Alfa grille has almost always been the inverted triangle, while the Subaru was a trapezoid, narrower on top. There have been Alfas with a much narrower top line, slimming down the Vee, making TTAC’s founder’s appellation appropriate for Alfa than the Subaru. The difference is, nobody with give it the F-V name, because it’s an ALFA!

      • 0 avatar
        bucksnort

        That’s what I thought. Nobody would dare insult an Alfa. From this perspective, Alfa was probably the originator of the FV although I doubt Subaru actually copied it from them.

        So, with out labeling it, this new Alfa doesn’t really have an attractive front end.

  • avatar
    th009

    Giulietta replacement is planned for 2016, not 2015 (at least until Marchionne announces yet another product plan in April). Giulia was planned for late 2015 but if the switch to the new RWD platform is reality, it’ll more likely also be 2016.

    So in 2015 the US dealers will likely have only the 4C, and the Alfa Romeo Miata, err, Spider.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    Oh here we go again. Everyone complains when Porsche makes their cars too luxurious and won’t produce a simple pure sports car. Then Alfa comes along and makes a simple pure sports car, and everyone complains that it isn’t luxurious enough. The B&B is never happy.

  • avatar
    Alfisti

    Are they coming to Canada and will there be any 5 door models?

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    The only Fiat dealership in my area is an old Ford dealership, with very little in the way of upgrades, and the sales staff was clearly not top-of-the-line types. The lot had a 20-30 dozen Fiats and zillions of used cars.

    Not exactly the ideal selling environment for a fairly high-priced, exotic sports car, or any kind of premium brand. It might be perfect for Lincolns, though.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Fiat may actually be the perfect partner for what sounds like a large used car operation. Show them the shiny 500 and when they see how small it is, sell them the used Focus. Show them the 500L and when they see how expensive it is, show them a pre-owned Cruze, or Mazda, or G6. Show them a… what else does Fiat have?

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Exactly, but I don’t see that selling many new Fiats.

      • 0 avatar
        Les

        Fiat has a healthy enough line of products globally. The problem is that back in their home stomping-grounds Fiat is essentially the Italian Chevrolet, reasonably-priced everyman automobiles, but that’s a pretty hard-fought segment of the market over here.. especially for one with a ‘Fix-It-Again-Tony’ reputation.

        So, they banked on the 500, set themselves up as a ’boutique-luxury’ brand to go up against MINI. That got them the toehold they needed in the US market, but it’s hobbled them as far as expanding the product-line goes.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Are we not counting the 8C as a vehicle which Alfa Romeo sold in the US within the last 20 years?

    Because they are in the US, I’ve seen them. And Wikipedia says there are 90. Those 90 were sold between 2007 and 2010. That’s 4 years ago.

    STOP WITH THIS 20 YEAR NONSENSE. It’s as bad as saying “No Infiniti has ever been sold in Japan before,” which is wrong, and yet TTAC perpetrates it constantly.


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