According to some reports, luxury sportscar Alfa Romeo will be coming to the Chinese market. Italian automaker Fiat through a joint venture with Wuhu-based Chery Automobile has an ambitious plan to roll out 175,000 cars a year.
Fiat Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne believes China is the centerpiece to Alfa’s revamped business strategy. “Entering the Chinese market at this stage is a key milestone of our plan to revamp and expand Alfa Romeo business worldwide. At the same time, the cooperation with Chery will also materially benefit Fiat brand’s further development in China, ” said Marchionne.
Alfa Romeo will be entering a very competitive and saturated Chinese luxury car market. Over the years, Fiat’s Alfa Romeo had not been successful going after the higher end German cars.
Global Insight’s auto analyst Pierluigi Bellini said, “Fiat until a few years ago wasn’t really concentrating on China. It was concentrating on restoring the brands. Now they are trying to go back to China. ” He added that a major hurdle Fiat will encounter in China is brand recognition since it’s not as well known there.
Despite bumps in its corporate history, Alfa Romeo has enjoyed an illustrious profile in the media and culture. In fact, many Alfa models have become cultural symbols. They’ve been featured in movies such as James Bond, The Italian Job and The Graduate, often with romantic connotations associated with Italy.
Could the Alfa Romeo legacy overcome its late entry into the Chinese market?
photo courtesy of fiat