Alfa to Build Cars in Ontario. Or Not.
FIAT, the parent company of Alfa Romeo, is considering launching its return to North American soil using Ontario as its home base. So says CTV News, though FIAT chairman Sergio Marchonne has not acknowledged any talks with Ontario's government– but has set a goal of building a New World Alfa Romeo by 2012. Ontario can bank on a small home-field advantage; Marchionne was raised and educated in the Toronto area. A joint venture is possible, given that any Alfa will initially be a low-volume niche vehicle. Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, General Motors and Honda are all well-established manufacturers in Ontario. The downside: most of these Alfas are destined to be sold in the U.S. Building cars in Canada is a mighty pricey proposition. Besides, could a car built by a bunch of overall-wearin', double-double-drinkin' Toronto Maple Leafs fans named "Duggie" and "Murray" still have what pistonheads refer to as "Alfa-ness?" Che macello!
If reliability was the only factor that motivated most car buyers, Honda and Toyota would have close to 100% market share combined in the US. That hasn't happened-yet. It, however, will always be a big deal, for the simple fact that a car that you can't drive (because it's in the shop) is worthless. People buy cars to get from point A to point B, not because they are fun to drive or have nice dashboards. That is a car's primary purpose. If the car is in the shop, they can't use it to get from point A to point B.
I thought Alfa's reliability had greatly improved over the last decade? My Alfa was as reliable as any other car I have owned, way more reliable than my first car(1981 Honda Prelude) and has put this Cadillac DeVille I have now to shame. Plus it was easy to work on, parts were the only headache since I had to have them shipped to me. Not sure if these FWD Alfa's are a nightmare to work on, but I would wait for the RWDs to come anyway. It's not a real Alfa if it's FWD IMO. Besides are you people buying BMW's don't exactly have the most reliable cars on the planet. Quit complaining and drive one maybe you will see why so many of us are waiting for their return. It's not an appliance it's an experience.
I might be alone in that I expect any car to have to spend some time in the shop. Cars are complex devices --made more complex thanks to sometimes conflicting requirements-- designed, engineered and built by imperfect humans. After all, the vaunted Toyota Production System couldn't prevent sludge from occurring in their V6s nor does it, apparently, prevent a recent rash of recalls (say that three times fast). And it doesn't prevent a large number of new Toyotas from having one taillamp prematurely die/burn out/fail(anyone else notice this?). In general, as someone above mentioned, all cars are getting better in quality and reliability, so the discerning person might as well get the more entertaining product.
Leaf fans aren't real hockey fans. Real hockey fans cheer for a team that's actually won a Stanley Cup sometime in the last, oh, 40 years. Like Montreal. They've won around as many Cups in the last 40 years as Toronto has won EVER. So, yeah, GO HABS GO! By the way, there'll be plenty for factory space for Alfa once Chrysler closes it's doors. Oh, and Tim Horton's coffee... best coffee in the world. The Canadian economy runs on double doubles and Timbits.