It may be a small car but there’s a lot riding on the upcoming launch of the new Alfa Romeo 4C. Marking the brand’s return to the U.S. market after a two-decade absence, the success – or failure – of the two-seat sports car could determine whether the Alfa brand can pull off its ambitious global comeback strategy.
The once-grand marque has become an insignificant player in recent years, but parent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has approved a 5 billion Euro product development plan that will yield a broad assortment of new models during the next half decade. But as the first offering to reach Alfa’s new U.S. dealer network, it will serve as the foundation for that planned revival, which is expected to see Alfa selling 100,000 cars a year in the U.S. annually before the end of the decade.
“It’s crucial,” Alfa Romeo CEO Harald Wester told TheDetroitBureau.com during a media driving event in San Francisco. “This is the reincarnation of what Alfa stood for in the past,” and what one industry observer described as the “glowing neon sign” that signals what the brand hopes to be in the years ahead. (more…)