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It’s been more than 15 years since a new Alfa Romeo was last sold in the United States. However, that’s all expected to change next year, as the brand returns to our market, with a production version of the 4C concept (shown) plus a new premium compact, the Giulia.
These are slated to be followed by Chrysler-based offerings in the shape of mid-size SUV and large sedan, plus a re-born version of the legendary Spider.
However, in order to be successful this time around, Alfa’s strategy hinges on having a comprehensive dealer network stretching from coast to coast. Part of the brand’s failure in the 1980s and 1990s was due to a limited number of concessionaires and spotty parts and service backup.
In order to counter the problem this time around, Alfa will rely on Chrysler’s dealer channels to move product, thanks to parent Fiat now holding the reins of Detroit’s number 3 automaker.
That means that existing Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep franchises will likely have first dibs in adding an Alfa Romeo presence to bolster their portfolio, though it doesn’t mean that Alfa and Chrysler products will be sold side by side (think more along the lines of Mini and BMW perhaps).
In an effort to give the brand some identity here in the US, dealers will probably be required to build new structures, specifically to house Alfa product when it finally arrives on these shores.
[Source: Left Lane News]
Absent from the American market since 1982, Fiat is now back in big way. Chrysler announced today a list of 130 dealerships across the country that have received letters of intent for a Fiat franchise.
Once these dealers fulfill the requirements of the letter and can provide the facilities and requirements submitted in their proposals made to Auburn Hills; they can begin selling Fiat vehicles, beginning with the pint sized 500. The car, which as been on sale in Europe for a few years, is being officially introduced to the North American market this week at the Los Angeles International Auto Show.
And although a few 500s will be arriving in dealerships next month, none will be officially sold until January 2011, and even then they’ll only be trickling out in small numbers. A volume launch of the North American 500, which will be built in Mexico and classed as a 2012 model year vehicle, according to Chrysler spokesman Ralph Kisiel; isn’t planned until a couple of months later in March.
Chrysler says it ultimately plans to have 165 dealers in the Fiat retail network and is already talking to those beyond the initial 130; some of which are currently not Chrysler franchises. It is also tentatively looking at dealer proposals for Alfa Romeo franchises, when that brand is set to return to these shores, sometime in 2012.
Get more Fiat 500 news and info at Fiat500Owners.com
Hit the jump for the complete list of dealers and to find out the nearest one to you. Plus, we’ve included a short video of the all-new Fiat 500 from the car’s LA Auto Show debut: