US Fiat Stores Might Still Get Alfa Romeos

US Fiat Stores Might Still Get Alfa Romeos

Fiat dealers were left fuming after an Alfa Romeo executive suggested the forthcoming 4c sports car would be sold through Maserati stores in the U.S., but the fight over who sells what is far from settled.

Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne now says only the best performing Fiat dealers will be given a chance to sell Alfa Romeo vehicles. Fiat’s U.S. dealer network is crying out for more products to offer, with nothing but variants on the 500 sub-compact currently on tap. Many believe a shot at selling the 4C could be just the boost those stores need.

In a revised filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission related to  Chrysler’s initial public offering, the company stakes claim to exclusive Alfa Romeo distribution rights in the U.S. and Canada.

“In 2011, we began distributing Alfa Romeo vehicles in Mexico, and have exclusive distribution rights for Alfa Romeo in the U.S. and Canada.”

The Chrysler and Maserati U.S. dealer networks operate separately.

A pervious version of the same filing only said that Chrysler expected to sell Alfa Romeo vehicles in the U.S.

There are currently only 68 Maserati dealerships in the U.S. compared to 210 Fiat stores. Initially, Alfa is only expected to allot about 1,000 of the lightweight sports cars for American buyers. For now, Fiat dealers will be limited to the larger proportioned 500L and 500X crossover.

GALLERY: Alfa Romeo 4C


[Source: Automotive News]

Discuss this story at our Alfa Romeo 4C Forum.

  • smartacus

    Alfa 4C belongs in FIAT dealers, not Maserati.

    A guy walks in to the Ferrari/ Maserati dealer.
    He can afford a 458, but is looking at the California.
    He veers his head towards the Maserati Gran Turismo.
    But leaves the dealership with an order for an Alfa 4C because he really doesn’t need more.

  • Jim

    If Alfa is serious about getting back into the U.S. market they should steer far clear from the Ferrari/Maserati dealers. FM dealers are the most arrogant, non-consumer friendly retailers of ANY goods on the planet. As a matter of course and seemingly to plan they constantly engage in deceptive, greedy, and essentially quasi-legal strategies designed to maximize their profits at the expense of good will and anything approaching customer service.

    A standard practice is to register their most desirable cars to friends and co-conspirators in order to call them “used” and avoid the Factory’s prohibition on selling new cars at over MSRP, then rolling them back on the showroom priced at $100K over sticker. Another routine scheme is to insist that the customer buy a less desirable model – at list price – then trade it back to the dealer for the car the client actually wants in a couple of weeks at a tiny percentage of what they sold it to him for.

    Their parts and “service” departments are amazing ripoff centers. Simply because the cars are desirable shouldn’t mean that the customer has to bend over the desk on every visit.

    Alfa Romeo lost what should have been their most lucrative market – the U.S. – once before through abysmal customer service. lack of Factory support, and an aging product line ill suited to American needs. Did they not learn from their previous mistakes? Look at how Porsche has thrived here by being sensitive to customer satisfaction and market forces. That should be Alfa’s model. While by all accounts the 4C is a brilliant car and potentially a great “halo” car for the brand, the reviews I’ve read do not portend well for Alfa’s re-entry here. By the time the 4C hits our shores it will likely have gained 500 pounds from the ridiculously claimed 1970 pound published weight – no gas, no oil, no coolant, no A/C, no adjustable passenger seat, no carpets, no MUFFLER (???), no radio – and the price will have ballooned to over $70K before the Ferrari dealers add their gouging. So it’s a 4C from a brand that few Americans associate with anything other than rusting hulks dead on the side of the road, of a well equipped Cayman from the most respected sports car manufacturer on the planet.

    This is coming from a 40+ year Alfa owner and racer and pre-owned exotic car dealer.