Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne will appoint a new boss just for the Alfa Romeo brand in North America.
Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne says he will give priority to building the Alfa Romeo brand in the Unites States before addressing the issue of growth in Europe.
In an interview with Automotive News Europe, Marchionne says he believes it will be an easier task to build up the brand in North America than trying to address problems related to its eroded image in Europe.
"We are going to target the U.S. market first and work our way back into Europe," says Marchionne, who heads both the Fiat and Chrysler divisions of now merged automakers. Marchionne believes the market in the United States has a lot of hidden potential for the Alfa Romeo brand.
"We have run market tests on the desirability of the Alfa brand in the U.S. and -- notwithstanding our long absence from the market -- it's still one of the best brands in the world, and I think we need to go back and grab it." Alfa Romeo pulled out of the U.S. market in 1995.
Marchionne says a new executive position will be created for a head of the Alfa brand in North America. The new position will be filled by someone from within the ranks of Fiat and Chrysler.
Fiat plans to re-introduce Alfa Romeo in the United States by 2013. Alfa Romeos will be sold alongside the Fiat brand in the newly established dealership network that Fiat is building in North America.