Alfa Romeo May Return To The US

By: Faye Bautista

MotorAuthority tell us that thanks to Fiat, SpA's miraculous fiscal turn around, Alfa Romeo now is officially slated to return to these United States in the spring of 2009.

Sure, we've heard these tempting declarations before from the Italian marque that's given the automotive world some of the most beautiful cars we've ever known. But with the solid return of Maserati, it just might be so. Let's hope that the 8C (shown) is one of the first Alfas to arrive on these eager shores.

The iconic Alfa Romeo spider - the model as a brand, specifically - has lived through days of glory (think as everyone does, The Graduate) and days that will live in infamy (the bubble-met-rectangle late 90's variant).

The latest spider - we've been promised - will bless the American public with her gorgeous presence sometime this decade. But the car is currently on offer in Europe. And now on that side of The Pond, as on option, Alfa will offer a 200 horsepower 2.4 liter diesel engine.

Say what?

That's right, an oil burner. True, this is not exactly out of lane with most of Europe's motoring trends. After all, the majority of Europeans drive diesels wedded to manual transmissions.

Still, it seems neither right nor proper that the sexiest of everyday Italian boulevardiers should speak not with the suggestive tones of petrol infused engine, but with the dull, clattering accent of any Euro taxi?

Alfa can keep the diesel Spider on that side of The Pond.

Also, according to the MotorAuthority, Alfa Romeo (and its parent company Fiat, SpA) is considering a partnership with China's Chery Automobile in an effort to break into the PRC's explosive car market. The only thing that worries Alfa's management and the world's Alfisiti is the spectre of an Alfa-Chery partnership that ends up producing some real lemons.

"[W]e have to be sure the Chery plant produces real Alfas and this requires a great commitment on our side both in terms of quality and engineering." Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said.

Of course were this 20+ years ago, worries over reliability would likely not have come from the prospect of manufacturing Alfas in China, but the danger of keeping production in Italy! Ah well, how times change. Still, the concept of non-Italian made Alfas provides a disturbing insight to globalization realities.

In an event the "'Made In Italy' excellence," is the catch phrase being tossed around by the public relations heads of world renowned designer Giorgio Armani and sportscar icon Alfa Romeo. This bit of "Proud to be Italian" comes on the heels of Fiat mulling over the controversial idea of manufacturing Alfas in China for the Chinese market.

Together at the Triennale in Milan, Alfa Romeo is sponsoring the Giorgio Armani exhibit that showcases 30 years of the designer's work. And, like any good sponsor, Alfa has thrown in the new Brera to display for good measure.

"Sponsorship of the 'Giorgio Armani Exhibition' is part of a strategy aimed at forging a permanent link between Alfa Romeo and the world of culture, in the sense of artistic expression highlighting creativity and innovation," Alfa Romeo CEO Antonio Baravalle said.

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