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Fiat will be gradually discontinuing the beautiful Alfa Romeo 159, as reports have indicated that production of the 159 has come to an end at the assembly plant in Naples, Italy. Last minute 159 buyers may have some luck because the vehicle has been stockpiled by dealers ahead of the factory’s temporary closure.
Sadly, the 159 suffered from its edgy front end, making for poor aerodynamics and although the vehicle was built to meet U.S regulations, the vehicle was never sold stateside.
Enthusiasts are complaining that with the absence of the 159, there is a gaping hole left in both Alfa Romeo and Fiat’s line-up. Neither the Alfa Giulietta, Lancia Delta nor the Fiat Bravo can pass as a compact executive car. The 159 is expected to be replaced by the Giulia but won’t hit the road until 2013, and will likely stay that way for another few years. The Naples plant will now produce the Fiat Panda.
GALLERY: Alfa Romeo 159
[Source: italia speed]
Fiat looks to extend production in order to sell retro model in foreign markets
Can you hear that? It might sound a lot like Monty Python’s John Cleese, but it’s actually Chrysler’s PT Cruiser screaming, “I’m not dead yet.”
That’s right, despite plans to scrap the retro-styled economy car, production will continue on. Pre-bankruptcy Chrysler had announced that it would cease production of the PT at its Mexico plant this summer, but under new Fiat ownership the U.S. automaker will extend the car’s life until 2011. The PT has, however, already lived well beyond the average life span of a modern auto and as of 2011 it will have been in production, mostly unchanged, for 11 years.
According to a report on Edmunds, it is possible that Fiat is hoping to sell additional units of the car in international markets like Fiat’s European home turf, as well as in Brazil.
After the last PT’s roll out of the Toluca, Mexico facility in December of 2010, the plant will be retrofitted to produce the new Fiat 500 and the Fiat Panda (which will be badged as a Jeep) for the U.S. market.
The Fiat Panda is just one of several cars that will be sold in the U.S. under the Chrysler/Fiat alliance. It will most likely be badged as a Jeep.
There has been plenty of speculation as to which Fiat vehicles will make it on to North American roads as a result of the merger with Chrysler, but thanks to bankruptcy filings, the mystery has been solved.
In total, it looks like five or six Fiat and Alfa Romeo models will make their way over, as well as two engines and one impressive transmission.
Robert Manzo, the executive director of Capstone Advisory Group LLC, a company that is working with Chrysler during the Chapter 11 filings, stated clearly that the vehicles are the Fiat 500 and Panda, the Grande Punto and Alfa MiTo as well as the C-Evo based sedan and Milano 940.
The Fiat 500 and and Panda will fit into the micro-car category, although the Panda isn’t exactly micro. As more of a compact crossover, it will likely be branded as an entry-level Jeep.
The Alfa Romeo MiTo, will come over as a sporty sub-compact, and the Fiat Grande Punto will be a sub-compact hatchback.
From left: Alfa Romeo MiTo and Fiat Grande Punto
The only thing that isn’t entirely clear is the talk of the C-EVO platform and the Milano 940. While these two vehicles would be more mid-sized, they may actually only be one vehicle. The C-EVO is a platform, expected to underpin the successor to Alfa’s 147 (likely the 149), whereas the Milano 940 is a concept car based on the platform. We expect to know more when Alfa brings new products to the Frankfurt Auto Show in September.
In terms of engines, the agreement would see two Fiat motors travel across the ocean. The first is a 3.0-liter diesel and the second is a 1.4-liter gasoline powerplant. The deal will also see a new state-of-the-art double-clutch transmission come over for use in many of these new models.