Alfa Romeo Coming to a MINI Mart Near You!
It turns out that Fiat and BMW's axis of platform-sharing may help facilitate Alfa's stateside arrival. Automotive News [sub] reports that the Fiat version of the automakers' joint agreement states that "as part of possible cooperation, BMW Group will provide Fiat Group Automobiles with support in launching the Alfa Romeo brand in the North American market." And really, it's perfect. BMW already has a chain of boutique dealers in the more "sophisticated" American markets: MINI. And sure enough, Fiat spokesfolk tell AN "Mini U.S. dealers would have the possibility to also sell Alfa Romeo cars." Official details of the agreement have not been publicized, nor has BMW officially commented on MINI becoming a multi-brand retailer. Still, it's hard to think of too many downsides. MINI stores are already located in the markets that will be interested in Alfas, and the idea of an 8C Competizione gracing a MINI showroom is hardly the stuff of MINI salesman nightmares. Though the two brand's FWD offerings may not be as coordinated as they'd like, the platform-sharing plans mean that the two brands could grow around each other. Besides, a MINI-Alfa dealer would hearken back to the good old days of "import specialty dealers." Only without the horrendous products and service support. We hope.
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