U.S. Return for Alfa Romeo Delayed
This makes matters worse for the Italian automaker, as the lack of the Giulia sedan and station wagon on the European market already causes Alfa Romeo to have one of the weakest premium brand lineups on the continent. Furthermore, Fiat S.p.A. has pushed back the arrival of the Giulia models on the North American continent to the second half of 2013.
Fiat blamed the delay on manufacturing and styling issues with the cars, adding that Marchionne was not pleased with what proposals he has seen from Alfa's creative team in Turin.
Fiat owns 25 % of Chrysler Group and is trying really hard to integrate Alfa on the U.S. market with the forthcoming models such as an compact SUV, code-named C-SUV, the model that will supposedly replace the Jeep Compass/Patriot. The model will be produced at the end of next year at the Mirafiori plant in Turin.
Until the arrival of the SUV in early 2013, Alfa Romeo has a poor lineup with just three models to display on the market, the MiTo, Giulietta and 159. To compare, Audi, one of Europe’s top premium selling automakers, has 11 models in its lineup. As a consequence of Audi’s vast model range, the German automaker’s worldwide March sales were 125,700 cars and SUVs and that is 11 % more than Alfa's total global sales for all of 2010.
One of the reasons why the Italian brand looks so bad when it comes to selling cars is the fact that at the end of last year it stopped making the four-seat GT coupe, 2+2 Brera coupe and the two-seat Spider roadster. New replacement for all those models will come on the market no sooner than 2013, so it’s highly likely that Alfa will make its U.S. comeback somewhere in the second half of 2013.