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Posts Tagged ‘fiat’

The Alfa Romeo Countdown Is On! For Real This Time!

February 25th, 2014

Alfa Romeo 4C

Come on, you guys. This is it. For real.

Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili, now known as Alfa Romeo, will return to the United States by the end of June. This June. As in within 4 months.

It’s okay to be skeptical, as the promise has been made, and broken, plenty of times in the last half-decade or so. This time we have the Alfa Romeo 4C to drool over, but don’t expect to walk in to your local dealer, negotiate a fair price and drive away with a new Alfa.

Why won’t it be that easy to secure a new Alfa all your own?

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FIAT: The Newest Domestic Automaker?

May 29th, 2013

American FIAT 500

Let’s make FIAT American!

Remember the controversy that surrounded an Italian brand buying an American car company? When Chrysler went into bankruptcy and was gobbled up by FIAT, the question arose of whether the storied American brand would remain, well, American.

The Italian carmaker’s stake in Chrysler has grown steadily since 2009, and now FIAT CEO Sergio Marchionne wants to buy the rest and take full ownership. That means the once-American Chrysler would be fully under the control of a foreign entity that also owns Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Ferrari.

But what if the tables turned, and instead of Chrysler going foreign, FIAT comes stateside?

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Cars Coming Soon: Chrysler to Bring More FIAT, Alfa Romeo Cars to U.S.

January 31st, 2013
Alfa Romeo 4C

Alfa Romeo 4C: The future of Chrysler is bright

“What Chrysler would you buy today? What does the future hold for coming cars, and when will FIAT’s influence be noticed?”

These questions surfaced while out for a couple of pints with the guys this week. You might think we’d talk about girls and football and other exciting, enticing topics. But no, we talk about Chrysler instead.

FIAT’s ownership of Chrysler is already being felt. In fact, it might be the best thing to ever happen to the Auburn Hills company. Net income for 2012 approached $2 billion. Market share grew to over 11%. The new Dodge Dart is based on FIAT architecture. Good things are happening at Chrysler, with even more good coming. New vehicles of all kinds are on the way for all brands that now sit under FIAT’s U.S. umbrella.

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Enter the Mazda Romeo

January 21st, 2013

Would a Mazda/Alfa Romeo tie-up look like this?

Keeping to our continuing theme of small RWD sports cars, it’s with excitement that I read about a partnership between Mazda and Alfa Romeo to co-develop the next-generation MX-5 Miata.

We first heard about a potential tie-up between the Italians the Japanese back in May, and now it’s official and a deal has been signed that’ll also bring a new roadster to Alfa Romeo.

Is it safe to assume the new Alfa will be sold in the United States?

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Used Volkswagen? Take $1,000 Off a FIAT or Chrysler (And Keep the VW!)

December 11th, 2012

2012 Chrysler 200

Thanks to some arguing and name-calling in Europe, used Volkswagens just went up in value by a thousand bucks in the U.S.

How can a European tiff turn into a financial incentive in the United States? Because the auto market is truly international, and when an Italian automaker wants to prove a point against a German competitor, it looks to assets in the U.S. to drive that point home.

The throwdown in question is between Chrysler/FIAT CEO Sergio Marchionne and the entire Volkswagen empire.

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Alfa Romeo in America? Yes! Maybe. Someday.

September 5th, 2012
Alfa Romeo 4C

Alfa Romeo 4C rendering

When FIAT took over Chrysler, there were great possibilities for more Italian models to grace showroom floors here. So far, all we’ve seen is the tiny, but fun, FIAT 500 and the super-exclusive Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione.

Promises of more Alfa models have teased those of us in the U.S. for a while now, but all we seem to get are announcements declaring another delay in getting the brand over here.

Could those delays be because Volkswagen wants to buy Alfa? Or is FIAT CEO Sergio Marchionne just fine-tuning the American Alfa offering?

Reports are all over the board.

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2012 FIAT 500 Abarth Sold Out, Lots More Coming for 2013

June 6th, 2012

I don’t see many FIATs in my neck of the woods.

A new dealer has opened downtown, and I see a few of the cute and sprightly little FIAT 500 hatchbacks every now and then. I’ve never seen a 500 Abarth wild on the streets here.

While sales of the 500 haven’t exactly blown the doors down, Americans have fallen in love with the performance-oriented Abarth version. In fact, the 2012 model is all but sold out.

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Cars Coming Soon: If Toyota and Subaru Can Team Up, Why Not Mazda and Fiat?

May 24th, 2012

Mazda Shinari concept

I think it’s safe to say that Toyota and Subaru have started a trend.

By teaming up and bringing back the inexpensive, RWD sports car, the companies may have double-handedly revived a market for fun performance. Now, it’s confirmed that Mazda and Fiat have inked a “Memorandum of Understanding” to develop a roadster based on the MX-5 platform that is expected to see production in Mazda’s Hiroshima factory, with an Alfa Romeo version coming in 2015.

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Green Update: Chrysler and Nissan Commit to Impossible Green Goals

October 25th, 2011

A hybrid for this car?

The tougher U.S. fuel economy (CAFE) standards have forced some radical rethinking by two of the world’s largest auto companies.

They really have no other choice, as long as the government commits to the flawed idea of CAFE, with all its loopholes, contradictions and costs of enforcement.

The 54.5-mpg requirement for passenger cars by 2025 (really around 40 mpg per EPA window sticker) has forced Chrysler to start making and selling hybrids and diesels. In 2013, the Chrysler 300 (above) will have a hybrid version, and the Jeep Grand Cherokee will offer diesel. The Fiat 500 EV will be coming next year.

Last year, Chrysler trailed all 14 major carmakers with a 19.2-mpg average. Regarding CAFE, CEO Sergio Marchionne has said, “I have no other way of getting to 2025 numbers than by going to hybrids.” He is also hopeful that CNG infrastructure will take hold.

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Will Alfa Romeo Replace Dodge in America?

October 11th, 2011

The replacement for Dodge?

Killing off the Dodge Grand Caravan would be tantamount to Toyota dumping its Camry.

But, in what looks to be a major sign of big changes to come for Dodge, the Grand Caravan will apparently exist only on the used market come 2014.

According to the reputable and journalistically conservative Automotive News, Chrysler will kill off its mainstay minivan sometime in 2013. That would leave the Chrysler Town & Country as the only van under the Pentastar’s roof; a vehicle that consistently sells fewer copies than the Grand Caravan.

It doesn’t make sense. It’s known that Chrysler/FIAT CEO Sergio Marchionne wants to consolidate brands at dealers and eliminate duplication on the sales floor. While I appreciate any plan to end the much-maligned practice of re-badging at Chrysler, dumping a perennial best-selling icon like the Grand Caravan could be a troubling sign for the Dodge brand. With plans to bring Alfa Romeo to the U.S. (someday), could it be possible that Marchionne is laying the groundwork to phase out Dodge and replace it with Alfa?

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