The long-awaited return of Alfa Romeo to the U.S. market has apparently been delayed once again.
The Italian maker, a subsidiary of the Italian auto giant Fiat S.p.A. was due to return to American shores late next year, but that has now been pushed back to 2013, sources confirmed, the blame apparently going to CEO Sergio Marchionne, who feels the brand’s products won’t be ready for the trans-Atlantic jump.
Separately, Marchionne, who also serves as chief executive of Chrysler, confirms a report by TheDetroitBureau.com, earlier this month, that Fiat will soon increase its stake in its U.S. affiliate to 30%. Eventually, the Italian company is expected to push that to a majority 51% share.
Alfa Romeo pulled out of the U.S. market two decades ago, suffering from quality problems and a steady decline in sales. The maker has made several comeback attempts since then – two years ago launching the low-volume import of the Alfa 8C supercar. A full comeback to the American market is seen as a critical step for the brand, which has been struggling for a number of years.