Whether you regard Valentine’s day as the perfect opportunity to shower you loved one with presents, or a commercial juggernaut whose only purpose is to keep florists afloat through the winter, there’s no harm in indulging in a little internet-based distraction to mark the occasion.
Coeur d’ Alene is a small sleepy city in north Idaho with a population of about 50,000 people. It’s nestled between mountains and a large alpine lake and serves as a summer playground for boating enthusiasts and a winter wonderland for ski bunnies. Its downtown is lined with mom-and-pop shops and locally owned restaurants.
Not much happens in Coeur d’ Alene, but it’s a popular escape from the crowds of Southern California and Western Washington. Aside from the mansions lining the lake, there’s no real indication that Coeur d’ Alene is a city with money. In fact, driving through town suggests quite the opposite.
So you can imagine my surprise when I drove by a dealership, in a part of town surrounded by convenience stores and fast-food joints, lined with row after row of Maseratis and Alfa Romeos.
You know those large Toyota dealers in big urban areas that are packed with acres of cars? That’s how this dealership looked. It was an exceptionally out-of-place sight and left me wondering why all those cars are there and who’s buying them.
I looked to Google for the answer. Continue reading >>>
Whether you’re following computers with iPods or strip-sacks with touchdown passes, comebacks are never easy. Steve Jobs recognized that developing a revolutionary piece of technology could pull Apple back into people’s lives, while the New England Patriots leaned on fundamentals (and the cool, steely nerve of Thomas Edward Patrick Brady) to bring a 5th Lombardi Trophy back home to Foxborough, Massachusetts. In the world of cars, comebacks are often no less dramatic, and we may be experiencing one right now. Continue reading >>>
Get ready, because there are a lot of words coming your way that you’ll probably have no idea how to pronounce. Alfa and Romeo don’t present much of a problem, but some you might stumble on include Giulia, Internazionale, and Quadrifoglio.
We’re talking, of course, about Alfa Romeo’s new lineup of the Giulia midsize sedan, which will finally be available for purchase in the United States. We will get the base Giulia trim, the Giulia Ti, and the top-of-the-line Giulia Quadrifoglio.
Prices start at reasonable levels, but the Quadrifoglio will be as hard to afford as it is to say.
Maybe this time will be different.
We are supposed to receive a host of sedans, an SUV, and other vehicles that amount to a full line of products. It’s a promise we’ve heard for many years, but one that has yet to materialize.
Once again we’re hearing word that Alfa Romeo is on the verge of bringing two important vehicles to the market here, but what are the odds that they’ll actually arrive?
“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.
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?
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.
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.
American drivers have an inferiority complex.
We’ve long pined over cars sold in Europe that are not available for purchase in the United States. It’s a complex that we Yankees have never been able to shake, though there are signs that it’s finally starting to subside.
One reason for that is we’re finally starting to get some of the vehicles we’ve always wanted. The Ford Fiesta and FIAT 500 are leading that charge, though it remains to be seen if buyers on this side of the Atlantic will embrace them long-term. The other reason for the diminishing complex is younger drivers and their complete lack of interest in cars. Why would they care what Europeans get to drive when they don’t see cars as anything more than a portable iPhone accessory?
With that in mind, here’s the question of the day:
If you could bring one European brand to the U.S., which would it be: Alfa Romeo, Peugeot, Citroen, Renault, Seat or Skoda?
Keep reading for a peek into each brand.