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http://www.autonews.com/article/20130930/RETAIL/130929887/will-alfa-romeo-4c-bypass-fiat-stores#axzz2gODa3OaF



Automotive News said:
Will Alfa Romeo 4C bypass Fiat stores?
Fresh questions raised about brand's U.S. return

Alfa Romeo CEO Harald Wester's revelation last week that the brand's 4C sport coupe is heading to Maserati showrooms next year raises new questions about Alfa Romeo's future in the United States.

"Most likely, the Alfa 4C will be sold in the U.S. through the Maserati network," Wester, who also is Maserati's CEO, told Automotive News in an e-mail on Thursday, Sept. 26.

Many struggling Fiat dealerships are awaiting the 4C and other Alfa Romeos. But while Wester's revelation may be a blow to Fiat dealers, it raises more questions such as: Will the 4C also be sold at Fiat dealerships? And where will high-volume Alfa Romeos planned for the United States be sold - at Fiat dealerships, Maserati stores or both?

Wester and chief Chrysler spokesman Gualberto Ranieri declined to address the issues.

Fiat executives have said they will sell the Alfa Romeo Giulia mid-sized sedan, Giulietta compact and other Alfa Romeos in the United States in the coming years.

Fiat dealers never received a letter of intent or an outright promise for a future Alfa Romeo franchise, but Chrysler-Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne did acknowledge the expectation. He said Alfa Romeo needed Chrysler's help if it was to successfully return to the United States, which it left in 1995.

Alfa Romeo and Maserati are fully owned subsidiaries of Fiat S.p.A. of Italy. Fiat also owns 58.5 percent of Chrysler.

Between 2008 and 2010, U.S. Maserati dealers sold about 100 units of the 8C Competizione coupe and 8C Spider. Both cost more than $200,000.

Wester, who also is Fiat-Chrysler's chief technical officer, declined to say when the 4C will debut in the United States, confirming only that the car will go on sale before the end of the second quarter of 2014.

The $55,000 lightweight, mid-engine sports car is intended to rival the Porsche Cayman.

The 4C features a lightweight carbon fiber chassis and a reinforced plastic body. The U.S. version weighs about 2,200 pounds, about 220 pounds more than the European version because of different requirements to meet federal crash standards.

4C shipments were to be limited to about 1,500 units annually.

Asked in January 2012 about struggling Fiat dealerships and the botched U.S. launch in 2011 of the Fiat 500, Marchionne all but married Alfa to Fiat dealerships.

"The red is not accidental on the sign, believe it or not," Marchionne said. Red is Alfa Romeo's brand color.

He said the Fiat launch was "the cheapest way to learn how to manage Alfa. If you think you can launch Alfa here without Chrysler Jeep Dodge behind you, you're whistling Dixie. You need the machine."

And at this year's National Automobile Dealers Association convention in Orlando, Peter Grady, Chrysler's vice president for network development and fleet, all but guaranteed Alfa Romeos in at least some Fiat dealerships.

"The 4C is the first vehicle that comes [to the United States from Alfa Romeo] at the end of this calendar year, and it's going to go to the current Fiat dealers that are performing," Grady told Automotive News.

Gary Brown, chairman of the National Chrysler Dealer Council and the owner of a Fiat dealership on Long Island, said he had heard rumors for about a month that the 4C would go to Maserati stores.

He said: "We might have to think about how our future's going to be as Fiat dealers."
 

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That decision would leave some regions of the U.S. without a dealer nearby...



 

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Once again Alfa is planning on failure in the US. Why change to a more exclusive and limited group that will more than likely want to price service in the stratoshere.
A real shame.
 

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Once again Alfa is planning on failure in the US. Why change to a more exclusive and limited group that will more than likely want to price service in the stratoshere.
A real shame.
I don't understand why you think this is a failure. Fiat dealers cannot deal with an expensive and special car like the 4C in terms of customer service, car servicing, etc.
Impossible to open now Alfa dealers with such a small volume car so that will have to wait until the bigger sedans are done.
99% of Americans I spoke to and that are really interested in the 4C told me they would not walk into those little Fiat 500 showrooms to buy a 4C. They want the whole experience that goes with a high price....

The only worry I have is that there aren't enough Maserati dealers maybe but if you think about it, Alfa only plans to sell 1,000 cars in the US per year.

The deciding factor for the 4C will be the final price, the quality / reliability of the car and the servicing....IMO
 

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The local Maserati dealer didn't have a clue.

The local Fiat dealer is expecting to receive the 4C.

Nobody around here really knows anything. That is the biggest problem and will likely be the primary reason for failure in the US. The government regulations requiring the additional weight will be another factor.
 

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I don't expect anyone in the US to know anything until at least the LA Auto Show in November. Not surprising and pretty normal IMO.
 

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I am glad FIAT understands the FIAT dealers in the US cannot handle the 4C. It would have been a real problem when 4C owners brought their expensive car in for service and no one knew what to do with it!! Let's get real, they need to build up the Maserati dealer network in N.A. so that both Maserati and Alfa can meet their sales goals. The Ferrari/Maserati dealers as they are now are to small in number and size. For a limited production car like the 4C and the previous 8C that is not a problem. When the Giulia and Mazda/Alfa Spider arrive it will be a big problem. They have 2 years to build the Maserati dealers up in America:)
 

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My concern with the dealership going to Maserati is that they will not be able to handle the other Alfas that need to come to America to sustain a long term sales effort in the USA. I want to see Alfa back as a serious alternative for consumers.
All of the Fiat dealerships I have been to in the NorthEast have been clean modern and appear to employ competent mechanics. Perhaps for them they will see workin on Alfas as a plus. Will the guys working on ferrari's view it the same way? Will they charge the same hourly rates for Alfas as they do for the others?
The number of Maserati dealerships can handle the 4C. There are not enough to handle other models. Trying to increase the number would never work. They want limited numbers and exclusivity. Marchionne may then be forced to open Alfa dealerships in Chrysler locations. I have little confidence that Alfa will be treated with a high level of passion there.
I think America wants a quality Italian vehicle that is affordable. The cars need to have quality and must be more than commuter cars (Fiat) and toys (Ferrari) Alfa models can fill that niche.
 

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The Maserati dealer in Greensboro, NC, says that he has been told Fiat dealers will handle Alfa. The Fiat Dealer in Greer, SC, says the last he heard Fiat dealers will handle Alfa, but no Fiat dealer has been notified as of 10/18. While a Maserati dealer would give a more prestigious launch, it makes more sense for the 4C to be the most expensive car in the showroom of a dealer who has more exposure.
 

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ordering

The Maserati dealer in Greensboro, NC, says that he has been told Fiat dealers will handle Alfa. The Fiat Dealer in Greer, SC, says the last he heard Fiat dealers will handle Alfa, but no Fiat dealer has been notified as of 10/18. While a Maserati dealer would give a more prestigious launch, it makes more sense for the 4C to be the most expensive car in the showroom of a dealer who has more exposure.
Did they tell you when pre-ordering would open?
 

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Nothing will happen in the US including NO real info before official US presentation is done. This should be at the LA Auto Show but there are rumours it might be delayed until Pebble Beach
 

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Got a call from the Fiat dealer today, he confirmed that the 4C will be sold by fiat and is expecting things to kick off in the US between Jan and March next year. He did not know when pre-ordering would open and how many LE's he would get, but he would keep me posted.

Will let you know when I know ....
 

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Another Fiat usa dealer thoughts

From my fiat usa dealer


I have decided that the chances of us selling that car are so slim, we might as well expect that it's not going to happen at all. I would think they would have said something to the dealers to at least give us hope, but they have made no such effort
 

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Chrysler-Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne acknowledges a conflict over whether Maserati or Fiat dealers will sell Alfa Romeos in the United States, but said his plan is that “the best performing Fiat dealers will be the ones that will be entitled to have a crack at Alfa Romeo distribution.”

His statement differs from one in late September by Harald Wester, the global head of Fiat’s Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands, and an underling of Marchionne.

Wester told Automotive News in an e-mail that the Alfa Romeo 4C coupe, which is intended to lead Alfa Romeo’s return to the United States, would be sold through U.S. Maserati dealers when it arrives next year.

Maserati’s 68 U.S. dealerships are outside of the Chrysler dealer network, which includes about 210 Fiat dealerships that had expected to sell Alfa Romeos.

Last week, in an amended filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission related to its proposed initial public offering, Chrysler Group was unequivocal about where Alfa Romeos will be sold in North America.

“In 2011, we began distributing Alfa Romeo vehicles in Mexico, and have exclusive distribution rights for Alfa Romeo in the U.S. and Canada,” Chrysler wrote in the amended filing.

An earlier version of the section read: “we expect to sell Alfa Romeo vehicles in the U.S. and Canada.”

Chrysler spokesman Gualberto Ranieri declined requests for comment on the new wording.

http://www.autonews.com/article/2013...06G2462689H1U#
 

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From the dealers I have spoken to, it's fiat. This is good and bad. They're are more dealers and it seems it would be more accessible for some. For me, I live by a Ferrari/Mas dealer so it's not an issue. However, the benefits of having it come through Maserati is that when it comes time to get serviced, you're not letting some schmuck who just graduated from an online engineering school, working on your 60K Alfa...which is a sports car that is going to be operated at high speed, where mechanical failure is absolutely not an option. I have a plan devised that if i were to get a 4c, I would try to figure out a way to get the master mechanic at Ferrari who works on my other car, to service the Alfa. I know I sound nuts but it doesn't make much sense letting someone with the same qualifications to work on a Chrysler mini-van, work on an italian sports car. If you get the caymanS of course, you get the same guy who works gt3's, turbos, and lots of other fun things...I think Alfa needs to tread lightly and make sure they get this done right and also stop pussy-footing around.
 

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working on your 60K Alfa...which is a sports car that is going to be operated at high speed, where mechanical failure is absolutely not an option. .
I am actually hoping it will go to Fiat, that will keep the maintenance costs down. The Alfa is a $60k car, but mostly because of the carbon tub, and I hope that my dealer will never have to touch the carbon fiber since I can not see what can go wrong besides me crashing it.

When it comes to the engine, if your Fiat dealer is specialized in Abarth, he will be pretty good in dealing with small turbo charged engines. Alignment and suspension might be another thing, but than again ... you will have the most expensive car of all their customers instead of the cheapest one if you bring it to Maserati. I'm sure Fiat will only put their best guys on it.
 

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I don't understand why you think this is a failure.

I don't understand why he thinks there is planning. This is Alfa people. Lighten up. If it were a rational company we wouldn't be driving their cars. At least I wouldn't.
 
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