America will have Alfa Romeos… again
If you have watched Top Gear in the past then you have probably heard Jeremy Clarkson going on about how true GearHeads are ones that have owned an Alfa. Clarkson spoke as if Alfa were the Alpha-male dominate force in sports cars. The problem with Alfas in the past is that only true “gearheads” owned them because it took every weekend just to get the pieces of shit running again or to at least get them to stop leaking enough to subdue all the poor motorcyclists slipping on the cars secretions. Yes Alfa Romeos had some beautiful Italian styling but like most Italian women I have dealt with, there is a lot of high-maintenance parts (and daddy issues) underneath that pretty skin of theirs.
As years past, Alfas and Lancias started sharing Fiat parts and lost the passion and uniqueness set for the drivers. It wouldn’t be until the introduction of the Alfa Romeo 8C that really peaked our interest and made Americans hope for the return of this Italian brand. Then with the introduction of the 4C model we realized that this mid-engine carbon fiber canyon carver needed to be in the hands of more of us. With all of these brands being under the Chrysler blanket meant that the dealer network was already in place. After the Fiat dealerships were built we had a feeling that Alfas would soon follow and that appears to be exactly what is happening.
82 Alfa Romeo franchises will be set in North America with 79 dealerships going to prior Fiat dealership owners. Alfa Romeo looks to base most of these dealerships in states such as California, Texas and Florida where a majority of financially comfortable retirees will fork over the money for vehicles such as these. North America will be allocated around 1,500 4Cs to sell and then it is unclear if they will drag the MiTo and Giulietta with it. Since the Dodge Dart is already based on the Giulietta it would seem that they would already have everything in place in order to sell the re-branded vehicles.
Word is that Peugeot and Citroën may even be trying to make a market out of North America due to the stagnant sales abroad. If this is the case then we should have several “hot hatches” to choose from in the coming years. The only issue is that the dealer network would need to be established. Since Dongfeng Motor Corporation now owns a 14 percent stake in the company may mean that they could pull some strings with other manufacturers to work out a dealer network in North America.
We will likely see more Alfa Romeo models being introduced but what will be surprising is if they can deliver unique vehicles and not just re-wrapped hacks. If so then we should then be able to take part in owning a car built for fun and spirited driving hopefully without having to work on the vehicle constantly.