Since Fiat acquired a large stake in Chrysler, more international brands have been debuting through this partnership. New Alfa Romeo and Maserati models are going to be released in the United States soon. Fiat is looking to use its stake in Chrysler to boost global sales.
Wherefore art thou Romeo
Since Fiat began steadily acquiring more of a stake in the Chrysler motor company, there has been rampant speculation over which of Fiat’s brands would be beefing up market presence in the U.S. The return of one of the biggest brands under the Fiat corporate umbrella to the States in large numbers, Alfa Romeo, has been talked about for some time. Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne recently announced that Alfas would start hitting dealerships in 2012, though it is likely that the first wave in 2012 will only be a few of the upcoming Alfa Romeo 4C, according to Car Advice. However, by 2013, a lot more of them are going to follow. According to MotorTrend, an Alfa small crossover using the Alfa’s Giulietta platform will come out in early 2013, with other Alfa models to follow.
First Maserati SUV on its way
Fiat is also going to increase the presence of the Maserati brand by rolling out the first Maserati SUV along with two new sedans by 2013. According to AutoWeek, the goal is to raise U.S. Maserati sales from the 6,000 units or fewer Maserait sold last year to 50,000 in annual sales by launching two new Maserati sedans closely based on the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Avenger. The company says Chrylsers and Maseratis will share some things but will be far from Chryslers with Maserati badges on them. The two sedans will be the new Quattroporte, though one will be a smaller version. The “baby” version will get the Chrysler Pentastar V-6 and will compete with the Audi A6 and BMW 5 series. It should be priced about $80,000. The other new Quattroporte will be slightly longer, and come with a fuel-injected 4.7 liter Ferrari V-8, all-wheel drive and cost between $180 and $215,000. The Maserati SUV will be based on the Jeep Grand Cherokee. It will share the 4.7 liter V-8 and eight-speed-transmission with the new Quattroporte, but no cost is available yet.
Both brands have small foothold
Though Fiat, and by extension Chrysler, is trying to increase the presence of both brands in the United States, both already have a niche market. Maserati is a performance luxury brand that has been competing with Jaguar, BMW and Mercedes in the U.S. for some time, and about 100 Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione sports cars have been sold in the U.S. since it was introduced at a few scattered dealerships across the country. Fiat has a new market to exploit, and a serious imperative to try to boost overall revenues since Chrysler, according to USA Today, posted a $370 million loss last quarter.