What's Wrong With This Picture: Alfa's SUV Plans Parody Themselves Edition
Happy 100th Birthday, Alfa Romeo
What's Wrong With This Picture: Masters Of The Hooniverse Edition
Quote Of The Day: The Good Husband Edition

Fiat doesn’t need other partners. We have a strong relationship with Chrysler and that is what we are actively working on

Fiat’s new Chairman, John Elkann, told shareholder’s in his family company Exor, exactly what every good, newlywed husband would say. Then again, not every husband had, shall we say, the appetite for partners that pre-Chrysler Fiat had. Just ask GM. Or BMW. Or Tata. Or Sollers. Or Zastava. Or SEAT. Or, you get the picture. Literally.

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Happy Birthday Alfa! Love, Zagato
Fiat Five Year Plan: Alfa-Romeo Lives, Coming To America.

The last ten years have not been kind to Fiat’s Alfa-Romeo brand, as 2009 sales levels fell to about half their 2000 volumes. Having put Alfa on “strategic review” and stuffed it into a “brand channel” with Maserati and Abarth, CEO Sergio Marchionne has had a change of heart, and is now “determined” to build the brand into a “full-line premium carmaker.” According to Automotive News [sub]’s coverage of Fiat’s five year plan presentation, that means committing to a US presence targeting 85,000 annual sales by 2014. For a sense of scale, the Alfa brand sold a grand total of 103,000 units globally last year. And Alfa is going to have to kick ass around the world to meet Sergio’s goals. By the time Marchionne expects American Alfisti to buy 85k units each year, he wants the brand’s global sales to have increased nearly five-fold to half a million units. Ambitious doesn’t even begin to describe it…

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Quote Of The Day: Revisionist History Edition
The Art Of Alfa Romeo
What's Wrong With This Picture: A Solstice For Alfa's Dark Night Of The Soul Edition
Alfa In America: Glorious Return or Cynical Ploy?

Fiat/Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne seems ever more committed to the idea of bringing the Alfa Romeo brand to the United States, telling Automotive News [sub]:

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. There is a strong likelihood that the brand will be back here within the next 24 months

Needless to say, this is the kind of news that gets automotive enthusiasts all hot and bothered: a European brand known for its small hatches and dynamic brio coming to a US market that’s not known for offering either. And though more choice for consumers is typically a good thing, Marchionne’s motivations for bringing Alfa to the US are less than entirely admirable. As with so many decisions made in the auto industry, keeping enthusiasts happy comes at the expense of smart business choices.
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An Illustrated History Of Automotive Aerodynamics – In Three Parts

[Note: A significantly expanded and updated version of this article can be found here]

That air presented the greatest obstacle to automotive speed and economy was understood intuitively, if not scientifically since the dawn of the automobile. Putting it into practice was quite another story. Engineers, racers and entrepreneurs were lured by the potential for the profound gains aerodynamics offered. The efforts to do so yielded some of the more remarkable cars ever made, even if they challenged the aesthetic assumptions of their times. We’ve finally arrived at the place where a highly aerodynamic car like the Prius is mainstream. But getting there was not without turbulence.

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Alfa's America Amore

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.

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Review: Alfa Romeo MiTo

Today’s tester is a Red Alfa Romeo. So I really shouldn’t be telling you how its name is derived from the cities of Milano and Torino. I shouldn’t be revealing that it’s based on the Fiat Punto and I really needn’t elaborate about its underhood gadgetry, because in days of yore, “Red” was all you needed to know about an Alfa Romeo. On the other hand, to paraphrase Dylan, things have changed.

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What's Wrong With This Picture: The Journey To The Chrysler TC Begins With A Single Step Edition
Fiat Plans GM-Style Brand "Channel" For Alfa, Abarth and Maserati

Chrysler/Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has a handful of brand management on his plate, as he aligns his two firms for the future. Merging Lancia and Chrysler was an obvious move; creating one full-line brand (albeit with different names from market to market) is a lot better than trying to keep two distinct brands, although even with their powers combined, Chrysler/Lancia is going to have an uphill struggle. With Lancia “taken care of,” the biggest problem on Fiat’s plate is Alfa Romeo, which has reportedly lost €200m-€400m per year for the last decade.

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  • Kcflyer Guess we know who didn't give enough bribe money (aka campaign contributions) during the latest cycle. Got to pay to play boys and girls.
  • Ima65688420 I'll consider an EV when it can do what my ZR2 diesel can do with similar range and refuel times.
  • SCE to AUX Irony is everywhere:[list][*]The mfrs come to Washington asking for a steak, but get a burger instead. Gov't says "we gave you a meal."[/*][*]The alleged purpose behind EV subsidies is to clean up the air, but domestic content requirements means it's really an American nationalist agenda.[/*][*]Tesla lobbied against more subsidies on philosophical grounds, but got them anyway.[/*][*]Rebates on used EVs will drive up the price of used EVs.[/*][*]EV startups necessarily start with higher models, then work down-market. The new rules shut out Rivian and Lucid just as they are trying to get traction. But maybe - as with Tesla ca. 2018 - they won't lose high-dollar customers over a 'few bucks'.[/*][/list]What a mess.
  • Ajla Much like with CAFE I think the new MSRP limits should be set to a single level instead of $55K for cars and $80K for "trucks".
  • Bullnuke There was an interesting comment from the chief of a fire department made today concerning EV fires. "They're like trick birthday candles. They look like they're out and then they're on fire again.". I haven't noted a special subsidy or funding for the nation's fire departments regarding fire suppression training or equipment to combat "trick birthday candles".