The 156 and now the new 147 are selling really well for Alfa in the UK and Europe. Compared to the 75 and the 155, the 156 must have increased sales many times over. I now see many Alfas on the road every day which was certainly not the case pre-156.
If they can turn things round like that over here why not in the US?
The most important thing Alfa has to do is provide a dedicated service network that is enthusiastic. Does anyone remeber BMW in the 70's and 80's. Not the most exciting designs and not the most dependable, and very expensive to repair. The key to their turnaround was dealer service, improved reliability and design, and above all, the illusion of prestige. A massive propaganda program that has brainwashed half of America. Truly, most people will follow crowds, however, my 10 year old 164 L, with some aftermarket trimmings, gets more attention and queries than any 5 series Bimmer. What kind of car, etc? So what's the point? Brainwash car magazine editors, bribe them in the boardroom (as BMW, Audi, and Honda) have done, make a great product, and service it like there is no tomorrow. If Jaguar could salvage the image of unreliablilty, certainly Alfa's absence from the US scene will enable them to re-enter with a clean slate. But, they need committment and service. SERVICE, SERVICE, SERVICE. If my car needs service, the dealer will come to my house with a loaner and take my car!!!! That's what Jaguar does. It's what the American consumer has come to expect. Thank you for your time, the general.
Some news below :
20.05.2003 FUTURE ITALIAN NEW MODELS UPDATE
ALFA ROMEO 158
The GM 'Premium' platform based 156 replacement will make its debut late next year. The entry-level version will be a 150hp 1.8 JTS followed by two all-alloy units, a 170hp 2.0JTS and a 190hp 2.2 JTS. The new Orbital/Fiat-GM Powertrain 'Electron' alloy V6 engine which has been heavily revised by Alfa Romeo engineers will come in two specifications: a 230hp 2.8 V6 JTS and a 260hp 3.2 V6 JTS.
Topping the range will be a 300hp probable 2.2-litre capacity supercharged engine while the GTA will boast a twinturbo version of the new 3.2-litre V6 JTS with 400hp. For Alfa Romeo's North American comeback in 2006/7 a US-aimed GTA version will feature Maserati's 4.2-litre V8.
Diesel options will come in the shape of an entry-level 120bhp 1.9-litre unit utilising second generation Multijet technology, a higher-specification version with 160bhp, followed by a 200bhp 2.4 Multijet and a range topping 3.2-litre Multijet with an expected 230+bhp on tap.
As Alfa Romeo gear up to take BMW head on, so the size of the new 158 will increase, 180mm longer, 90mm wider but 30mm lower than the current 156. This will form a trend as the 147 replacement will be the widest car in its class.
ALFA ROMEO TZ3
The 'Sportiva Evoluta' is now to be known as the TZ3 when it is expected to be unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in the autumn, almost a year after it was pulled at the last minute from appearing at the 2002 Paris Motor Show. Most likely to be built by Zagato, Alfa Romeo business head Daniel Bandiera is now considering a higher specification Ferrari V12 engine as a follow up to the launch engine which will either be a twin-turbo 3.5-litre V6 or Maserati's 4.2-litre V8.
Bandiera is also thinking in terms of a luxury sporting saloon from Alfa Romeo which could compete with Maserati's new Quattropor
Interesting comment from Bandiera... Why would they want to compete with another car that part of the same group? They really need to think about conquest sales vs. canabalism. Comments like that make me think they still haven't learned anything about marketing...
Being of Greek heritage, I travel frequently to Greece and can tell you that Alfas are commonplace there. Their image is equivalent to what we think of BMW here and it's because of Alfa's heralded racing history, past and present. Should Alfa return to the U.S. with a real M3 competitor, ie GTA, and can convince Road and Track and Car and Driver and Motor Trend, that it is a great, reliable car, and if the buying public is treated properly on a service level, they will succeed in their goal. Will they overtake BMW in market share? No. But can they reinvent their image in the U.S.? Absolutely. Their is an entire generation of enthusiasts that wouldn't know a spica pump from a water pump and also don't associate Alfas with rust, etc. Alfa's absence could be the key to its rebirth in America.
the only way that alfa reach that number if they sold the cars whit the ferrari/maserati dealer network, i don`t think the people want to compare an alfa whit the GM crappy cars, ARDONA gosht
They don`t know a sh** of marketing, also, they have another problem, the remplacement of the current 156, if they built it front wheel drive, they are tost, trust me, no matter what, we demand rear wheel drive for the next alfa 156.
My understanding is that Alfa will return with the 147, 156 replacement, GTV and Spider replacement, and with a crossover vehicle. Furthermore, it is my understanding that they will have all wheel drive as an option across the board. And lastly, that they will be sold in dedicated dealerships with Ferrari and Maserati. But ultimately, time will tell.
Not sure about the Brera?
the only BMW dealership in the Chicago area was in the 2 car gaarge of a mans home on the border of Evanston, circa 1966! No one cared about BMW then.
The "local" Alfa dealer was in Lake Forest, and Alfa GTAs were being prepared for racing in a shop not far from there. Things certainly have changed.
Without checking, I think the most cars Alfa ever sold in the US in one year was around 8000, so 50000 is a pipe dream, IMO.
Alfas aren't really Alfas, and haven't been for a long time. The new cars might be very good, but won't be "real" Alfas to me.
Unless Alfa establishs a decent dealer and service network BEFORE they come, the cars won't sell. 40 or 50 dealers in the US won't cut it. In today's work no one wants to drive a car they are using on a daily basis 100 miles for warranty service...and you can't make a market based on 3000-4000 "Alfacionados" buying cars.
if alfa doesn't do it right, i'd rather see them not come back. they need to work hard on making their dealer network A LOT better than it was before and need more that 45-50 dealers nationwide. another thing is that who will work on these cars? i certainly hope not the service guy at the local chevy dealer (no offense), you need to realy know what you are doing...at least with the alfa's i have dealt with. let's just hope they can make something happen.
the worst thing alfa did was pull out. they should have just kept a low profile and stayed within the us as saab, vw, and audi did. when things got bad for them they managed to make an easier come-back.
Mini is being marketed and serviced by Big Money Waste (BMW). However, Italcarguy, I think that Alfa's exit from the US could be the key to its return. To compare with VW and Audi and Saab is not totally legit because VW had tremendous success with the bug and Audi and Saab always had a stronger cult following than Alfa. Anyway, time will tell. But, a dedicated and well distributed dealer and service network as well as a broad product line are a necessary starting point.