Saturday 14 August 2010

Alfa Romeo to launch full product line-up (U.S)

Alfa Romeo will commence its line-up in the U.S in late 2012 as part of Marchionne’s strategy to turn Alfa into a “full-line premium carmaker”.

A Giulietta based compact SUV will be the first official Alfa to be sold in the U.S. The compact SUV will be produced by Chrysler and will feature a 190bhp (193PS) 2.4 litre MultiAir 4 cylinder and a Pentastar V6 with around 290bhp (294PS). Front-wheel drive will come as standard with all-wheel drive being optional.

Following the SUV will be the forthcoming Giulia saloon and estate. In the European line-up, the Giulia will replace the aging 159 sedan and wagon. European sales of the small SUV will also start in late 2012, while the Giulia models will launch in Europe in late 2011/early 2012.

In 2013, Alfa will sell a new 5dr variant of the MiTo in the U.S. At the same time, the 5dr MiTo will be launched in Europe. A two-seater rear-drive roadster is also being mulled over for a 2013 launch; this too would be built in the U.S, although a platform and factory location is yet to be decided.

A larger SUV, also built by Chrysler in the U.S and underpinning the Jeep Cherokee/Liberty will be launched in 2014, both in the U.S and Europe. This model will effectively replace the unloved Jeep Commander. A facelifted Giulietta hatchback will also land in the U.S at the same time.

If everything goes to plan, Marchionne expects Alfa to sell 85,000 units in the U.S by 2014 to help towards annual global Alfa sales of 500,000 units. Last year, the firm sold 100,000 units; around 100 of these came through Maserati dealerships in the U.S.

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