Ready for a Comeback
In the early part of the 20th century, Alfa Romeo was one of the most respected car makers on the planet. The company and their cars were admired by the biggest and best, including Henry Ford and Enzo Ferrari, for their humble design and not-so-humble engines. The styling even pulled on Americans’ hearts when Benjamin Braddock was given an Alfa Romeo as a graduation present in the classic movie The Graduate. While it took decades for an Alfa Romeo to make its way to the American shores, the cars never were really accepted by the American drivers and after fewer than 30 years, Alfa Romeo retreated back to Italy. Now, the carmaker is set to make a second attempt to win the hearts of the American driving public, but many wonder why the Italian carmaker left in the first place.
Inability to Change with the Mid-90s Ideas
Alfa Romeo had a place in American dealerships from 1966 to 1994. If you can remember back to the mid-1990s, cars were losing their footing to the growing SUV market. Since Alfa Romeo only had two models in the US, the convertible Spider and the 164SL, it could not compete with the offerings from larger carmakers. Even though the company was predicted to sell nearly 2,000 cars in 1994, only 500 were sold. This did not justify manufacturing any more cars for US markets.
Time Changes Everything
Now, 20 years later, Alfa Romeo is set to make a big comeback. With the shifts in brands and owners – especially the Fiat/Chrysler grouping,, the US marketplace has opened up again as drivers are interested in attractive cars with powerful engines. Alfa Romeo has three cars that will meet those wants: Alfa Romeo Giulietta, 4C, and MITO. The 4C is designed to attract those who love the look of an exotic sportscar, but at half the price. The MITO is a fun little hatchback for those who need a quick car for tooling around town. The Alfa Romeo Giulietta brings back the idea of the European executive car, with all of the bells and whistles that a sedan driver will love. With Fiat having a fix on the pulse of the driving heart, many predict that Alfa Romeo (a part of the Fiat group) will have a long and healthy second relationship with the American public.