Delays and uncertainty continue to plague Alfa's return to the U.S. market.
Alfa Romeo is lagging behind the schedule laid out nearly a year ago for its U.S. comeback, and more delays could be in store: On October 30, Sergio Marchionne is set to introduce a new timetable for Alfa Romeo's upcoming models and global expansion plans.
At last year's Frankfurt Motor Show, Alfa Romeo CEO Harald Wester revealed that the automaker intended to postpone the U.S. launch of several key models: the introduction of the 4C Coupe would be pushed back from 2012 to mid-2013, while the Giuletta sedan and wagon models wouldn't be released until 2014. However, Alfa has since further delayed several models while also eliminating plans for other vehicles altogether, according to an Automotive News report.
Stillborn vehicles include a rear-wheel drive full-size sedan, which would have been underpinned by the next generation Maseratti Quattroporte, that Alfa announced last year. Also on the dead list is a planned compact crossover, a five-door version of the MiTo subcompact and the U.S. version of the Giuletta. Alfa decided that it wouldn't be able to recoup its investment in making the Giuletta, which first debuted in 2010, U.S.-compliant for the brief remainder of its lifespan.
Although Marchionne's upcoming presentation could change the details of all of Alfa's future model plans, at present it looks like the Italian automaker's Mazda MX-5 Miata-based roadster has been pushed back from 2013 to 2015. A midsized SUV derived from the next-generation Jeep Liberty is on track for a 2014 launch, while the lightweight 4C (which will reportedly spawn a roadster variant) is now expected to debut at the Detroit show in January and could reach showrooms later in 2013.
Finally, the 159 successor known as the Giulia will likely arrive in 2014 sporting rear-wheel-drive and an array of turbocharged powerplants.
The recent delays are but the latest in a long line of setbacks since Alfa began planning its U.S. revival back in 2000.