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Alfa Romeo U.S. Launch Delayed Again

Detroit Free Press:

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Sad news for Alfisti; Fiat announced today that it's pushing back a return of Alfa Romeo to the United States until 2011 at the earliest according to the U.K.'s Autocar. Originally, Fiat had planned to reintroduce the sleekly styled Italian brand in 2009, but market realities have forcefully intervened.

The firm has actually been selling the exotic 8C in America in limited numbers through Maserati dealerships. It reportedly engineered the 159, Brera, and Spider to comply with strict U.S. safety regulations. In order to sell mass-produced Alfas in the United States, Fiat deemed U.S. production necessary. But the capital expenditures required to set up American plants are proving too steep for the company at present.

This is unfortunate news for the U.S. marketplace, where small, well-designed, and ultra-stylish Alfas might fill the rapidly growing commuter market niche like hand in glove. Far from penalty econoboxes, Alfas such as the new MiTo (a contraction of Milano and Torino), which earned the prestigious European Car of The Year award, would likely sell well in the United States, though they do ring in at a much higher price point than similarly sized American vehicles. Last year, the Fiat 500 won the same award, and is yet another stylish, high-performance, and ultra-efficient small car that we can't get in America.--Colin Mathews;

Fiat web site:;

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