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Article on Automotive News Europe where industry analysts predict the demise of FIAT and that Peugeot and the Koreans are benefiting from FIAT's current troubles. Couple of relevant pieces:

"Most analysts say its Fiat and Lancia brands have little appeal left and, with the Ferrari sports car business excluded from Fiat Auto, the sporty Alfa Romeo marque has most potential. If Fiat is willing to sell, the Alfa brand could get snapped up, they say."

"Even if GM takes Fiat Auto under its wing, Fiat may live on as a brand, but few analysts expect it to survive as a fully-fledged manufacturer in its own right."

This ought to warm Stu's heart:
""A company like Hyundai is a serious threat to the European order, especially in the A and B (small car) segments where Fiat is traditionally strong," said Mark Fulthorpe of auto industry forecaster CSM Worldwide.

He argues that the failure of the Stilo model, which was supposed to take Fiat up-market and boost its fortunes in the mid-sized C segment, means it must now retrench and focus on small cars suited to narrow Italian streets, which is just where Korean rivals are most threatening. "
 

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It's a shame. I bought a 78 FIAT Brava brand new in Brindisi Italy and drove it for 130k over 15 years with no problems. I wanted an Alfetta sedan but it was $3k more expensive and the Brava was very confortable. It did finally rust out the right front shock tower and I drove it to the junkyard. The engine and transmission was still going strong. For 1800cc it was pretty peppy and I drove it all over Italy and the western US. I wish I had it rustproofed when it was new. I'll bet I'd still have it.
 

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If we ever wish to see Alfa Romeo have better days, you all better pray that it soon looks like this:


Ferrari/Maserati/Alfa Romeo group

otherwise . . . . .:(
 

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Most definitely. With Maserati launching a new and beautiful and hopefully dependable Quatroporte, Alfa would be the logical combination to provide competition for the C and E class and for the 3 and 5 series. I don't get it, if it's so clear to us, why not to the powers that be?
 

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generaljimt said:
Most definitely. With Maserati launching a new and beautiful and hopefully dependable Quatroporte, Alfa would be the logical combination to provide competition for the C and E class and for the 3 and 5 series. I don't get it, if it's so clear to us, why not to the powers that be?
Because we don't control the car industry... we just buy and restore and talk about old alfas that were already sold before therefore not beniffiting the italian car industry. If everyone could afford to buy italian cars like they do japanese and american cars, and if most of them were still imported to the US, then mabey the italian car industry would boom. The funny thing is I have seen more QVALE Mangustas (a san francisco based limited production car company that makes there cars in a factory in Italy, probably one of the only car manufacturers that still focuses on quality instead of quantity, they use pirellie P-Zero Rossos and Brembo Brakes almost every part of the car is italian) in the Bay Area here than Alfas which were mass-produced... I bet you if they still had a bunch of dealerships and advertising they would be selling well here. I see ferrari and lamborghini dealership everywhere, but nobody can afford that, why can't alfa romeo focus on luxury affordable sports cars anymore? Hardly anyone in america has ever heard of the company, they have heard of ferrari and lamborghini, but those aren't really daily drivers (The enzo gets 8mpg) and definately not affordable. I mean the Handling on my 2000GTV will outbeat most any FWD Japanese or american car on the market today. So in short, let's all do something about it, let us all sign a huge request, we get at least 1000 people and send a complaint to alfa and request immediate action be taken on selling the alfas in the US. I mean the reason that alfa wasn't doing too well in the early-mid 90s here in the US is because they weren't selling luxury affordable sports coupes, but rather FWD 164 Sedans and they had hardly any advertising...
 

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I mean the Handling on my 2000GTV will outbeat most any FWD Japanese or american car on the market today.
:D

105's handle extremely well for cars of there age but they don't really compare (in stock form) with new performance cars (Drive a WRX and you'll see what I mean). We're talking nearly 30 years of development here.

I think the competetiveness of the Japanese and Korean cars has always stemmed from the incredibly effective manufacturing capabilities and organisational structure of these companies. Their company structures are extremely well diciplined and totally focussed on improving quality and reliabilty of their product while constantly lowering production costs.

As a result these companies have developed reputations for producing cheap but functional, reliable vehicles. This is what the vast majority of the market wants in a car - Something that goes from A to B and does everything well-albeit having little charm. Alfa and Fiat on the other hand are still seen by the market to be quirky, unknown quantities. Their quirkiness attracts some people though.:)

I don't know much about the good ol' US of A but I don't believe alfas apparent lack of success there would be a result of insufficient promotion. I think while they should still try and make exciting cars, companies like Alfa and Fiat probably need to focus on their manufacturing and management to reduce their production costs while improving the reliability and functionality of their product.

Anyway I think its just a pity that most people don't know how fun alfas are.:(
 

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The WRX is AWD not FWD.. I am talking about FWD cars like Honda Civic, Toyota Corrolla, Nissan Altima, etc... my GTV will outbeat any of those cars... and btw FWD is cheaper to make but it is definately not safer and has horrible cornering and take-off, that is why RWD cars always win drag races and every single car that ever won a formula 1 races has been RWD! That is why all the higher end cars from any company is RWD or AWD, like the Honda NSX or S2000 are the only hondas that are RWD, the Nissan 350z, 240sx, 300zx and skyline GTR are all RWD, every single BMW is RWD, even the Nissan Maxima is converting to RWD for there next model year because they realized they were charging too much for a FWD car that supposedly is a performance vehicle... plus the fact that my alfa doesn't have power steering which most high performance (non-commercial) race cars don't have either... at high speeds you don't want a lot of freeplay in the steering. People supe up there little Civics thinking they will make them a super car, but it is just a fast plastic FWD kamikazee toy that can't corner worth crap...
 

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Ok it was late at night and I thought you were referring to all *** and american cars.

I certainly wouldn't argue with you that practically all racing and high performance cars have RWD or AWD drivetrains. That doesn't mean that all FWD cars don't handle though. Its just that once you put serious power in a car, RWD is better cos you take advantage of weight transfer when accelerating and its easier to avoid vicous power on understeer characteristics in a RWD (or AWD) setup.

That said, one of the best handling cars I've ever driven was a 96 VR6 golf (FWD!). That thing had 175kW and virually no understeer. You could push it through corners at quite ridiculous speeds and it would just scoot through like it was on rails.
 

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As far as I'm aware

GM still owns 20% of Fiat Auto stock (Alfa is part of the Fiat Auto Group; NOT the Ferrari/Maserati part of Fiat). Fiat Auto is in so much financial trouble that the sold the GM stock they traded for to an Italian bank to get cash flow. They got about half of what it was worth when the trade was made 3 or so years ago.

I have no idea why GM bought the stock, nor why they are just sitting on it..

Thye latest rumor is that Alfa will return to the US in 2006...
 

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Look at what I found you guys! "In March 2001, General Motors and Fiat Auto formed a joint venture. Because of this, the next-generation 156, Sportwagon and Spider will be based on GM's Epsilon platform rather than one of Fiat/Alfa's own platforms. Alfa's re-entering the US market will probably start with showing off the next-generation Spider at the Detroit Auto Show in January 2005.

The new 147 was voted car of the year 2000, and it seems Alfa's future is certain prove to be as successful, and as fascinating as its past... " I AM SO EXCITED... alfas gonna be back in the US of A baby... I bet you Alfa sales will be huge here (especially the san francisco area where people want funky new cars like QVALE Mangusta which is based in SF but made in Italy and everyone here has them)....
 

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A GM platform? Considering what that's done to the Saab, it makes me nervous. Then again, maybe that's the only way they'll survive. I wish they would at least consider a RWD platform for the next gen Spider.
 

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Yeah GM is going downhill, unless they make thew new GTV as fast as the corvette Z06 (0-60 in 3.8 seconds) and for the same price only 50k! I did here that alfa uses a lot of the same technology that they use in the ferrari's now... yeah FWD sucks, I know the GTV and GTA are both RWD... I don't like the styling of the new cars too much, it is way better than most modern styling but still not as good as the amazing styling of the 60s and 70s... I still think my 73 GTV is way more beutiful than any modern car, and I don't think they will ever make a car as beautiful as a Tipo 33 Stradale or a Montreal or a TZ or SZ again... I mean even the Brera which is supposed to be this prototype that might come into production is still kinda funky for me, it is a V8 with a 0-60 of 4.8 seconds but it is probably gonna end up costing at least 70k if they release it... most people would rather buy a Corvette Z06 that has really popular styling and a 0-60 of 3.8 seconds and amazing handling and still manages to maintain 19mpg city and 25mpg highway with its LS6 V8... I just hope Alfas won't be made in the USA anytime soon, I know the BMW X5 is and most Volkswagons are made in Mexico now... My dad just bought a new 2003 Pontiac Aztek about a few months ago, well it is made in Mexico and shows typical GM build quality, the roof lining is pealing off, the cd player works horribly, the car has a revving problem and it won't go over 70mph on the freeway... yeah, if alfas are built like that it will be the end of alfa romeo as we know it... I am just excited to see the new line of Alfas back in the autoshows around the USA a long awaited 8-10 year return!
 

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No reason to get anyone hopes up, GTVMAN. That news is very old, and all of my sources in GM indicate that the '07 reintroduction will not happen.

For that matter, all the news I've read says that GM is desparatly trying to figure out a way out of the agreement that says that Fiat can force GM to buy the remaining stock. Then again, Fiat recently announced that they will not persue that option anyway.

Like the US, its incredibly costly to build cars in Italy- I know a lot of people will not be happy, but the labor unions really put it to the companies. If you think Italy might be better than the US, no chance- its FAR worse.

To make Ferraris, Lambos, and Maserati's- one can afford that, as the cost can be easily baked into the car. But for the REALLY cheap cars that are Fiat's bread and butter, well, those cars can not make money. Since Fiat does not sell anything above a Taurus sized car, and pretty much no SUV's, they do not have any high profit item cars.

The best they have right now is Alfa, and if that goes, no more Fiat...

Nothing wrong with cars made in the US. As long as its a good design. Heck, Honda exports US cars to Asia.

Eric
 

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I know there is nothing wrong with US cars, I love the Z06 corvette, but most US cars are now made in Mexico... also most US cars are badly built nowadays... except mabey Cadillacs and the corvette, most US cars have bad design and are uncomfortable... hell my 73 GTV is more luxury than most modern US cars... except Cadillacs like I said...
 

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Alfa Romeo returning to the US?

I doubt that day will come. Economically it does not make sense. Right now GM is SAABs farther below sticker price than any other car (Wed. NY Times). Alfa would be another European headache. They would be here already if this was not true. The reasons that have stopped them in the past will stop them in the future.

Velocess
 

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Velocess,
People are always looking for a newer, more interesting car. Would the Alfa not fit these criterion? I could see them coming back and becoming a profitable company here. I remember when I thought Kia would fail in the U.S. because they made such a crappy car, but look at them now. Granted Alfa is on the other side of the spectrum with respect to price, it goes to show how the unexpected sometimes happen.

Josh
 

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although fiat is having problems of its own and so is Gm with their products Alfa despereately needs to come back to the north american market with a bang, how in the world will they survive with selling 200000 cars a yr worldwide, the main thing that has prevented them from coming is their quality product, they new bak in 1995 when they pulled out that there was no way an american would buy a 155 or a 146, they were just to odd and not as robust, since then alfa has come along way in terms of quality and reliabilty although they still have to better overall


alfas image is one of the strongest in the automotive industry and only alfa is able to sell bad cars since there so beautiful and fun to drive, if they made them as well as the japanese they would selll ten times as many cars and i think they are striving to build more quantative cars


spero di rivedere l'alfa nel 2007!!
 

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I agree with you on this... Alfa has gone downhill... I think that the alfa 2000 GTV was the last good alfa in my opinion... after that it all came to ugly crappy emission cars that were badly built, and then the horrid FWD cars and now they are making an OK comeback with there sporty image pretty well designed cars with great interiors the 146 and 156 series RWD cars... the only problem is they aren't real competitors since the fastest one of them has a 0-60 of like 6 seconds which you can get with almost any japanese car for like a fraction of the price... the highest level alfa 156 is what now 50 thousand? for that price you can get a brand new Corvette Z06 with a 0-60 of 3.8 seconds, brembo brakes, pirelli p-zero tires, and probably the same if not better handling than the alfa... alfa has become something "unique" rather than something "performance" like they used to have with the GTV and GTA cars of the 60s and early 70s... hopefully the Brera will change everything and return Alfa to the sports world (they say it will be like a comeback of the montreal) with a 0-60 of 4.8 seconds and an amazing interior with this newely designed sound system that blows all other sound systems out of the water, it will be the first car to use the picasound system...

BTW I think the spider died with the new series, the spider always had the same basic design from the duetto down to the early 90s ones and they always looked different from the coupes and sedans, now they look like a chop top version of the 146 and 156 coupes and worst of all it is FWD....
 

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Aren't all current Alfas (including the 146 and 156 lines) FWD?
Once you have had a chance to drive your Alfa more, you will learn Alfa have never been about 0 to 60 times; they are all about handling. If you want to see how well FWD can handle, watch some of the Speed Touring car races, or any of the English or European Touring car races. The FWD cars fare very well!
 

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No all of them are RWD now... except the spyder.... there is a reason alfa is about handling, and that reason is that most except for the new spyder and the 164 has been RWD... and no real race cars or high performance cars are FWD... all Ferraris and Lamborghinis are RWD or AWD... and those are like the most amazing handling production cars...
 
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