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New Fiat Dealers To Get First Dibs On Alfa-Romeo

“Ours to lose,” says a dealer.

by on Oct.21, 2010

Alfa hopes to make an American comeback with models like the Giulietta, seen here making its debut at the 2010 Paris Motor Show.

Even before the first of its new Fiat dealerships opens up, Chrysler Group is already laying plans for the return of the Alfa-Romeo brand, has learned.

Earlier this week, Chrysler began notifying the first new dealers who will be the vanguard for Fiat in 119 U.S. market.  (Click Here for the full story.) And eventually, the goal is to have Fiat outlets in as many as 200 American markets, according to Peter Grady, Chrysler Group’s Vice President of Network Development and Fleet Operations.

But that is only the start of a potential expansive re-launch by Chrysler’s Italian partner.  The next step, it now appears, will be to bring back the more up-market Alfa marque which, like Fiat, abandoned the American market nearly two decades ago.

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(Since then, Fiat has made a few weak attempts to return, most recently with the limited sales, two years ago, of its low-volume 8C supercar.)

Alfa-Romeo models are sportier and more expensive than those of mainstream Fiat – which will kick off its own U.S. re-launch with the American debut of the 500 microcar.  Fiat plans to spend more than $2.7 billion over the next few years updating the Alfa line-up, according to Sergio Marchionne, who serves as CEO for both Chrysler and Fiat.