Alfa Romeo ready for rebirth with ‘top secret’ sports car, says Fiat CEO

Alfa Romeo Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne seems confident that the carmaker is all set to relaunch the historic performance marquee, Alfa Romeo.

Revealing very little details, Marchionne told journalists that the company’s product plans are “top secret.” But the Fiat CEO seemed assured that the automaker is well prepared to kick off a new era for the brand with a slate of new models.

Fiat “has everything we need” to relaunch Alfa Romeo, said Marchionne, according to a report by Automotive News following a Saturday Fiat update event.

The launch of new Alfa Romeo vehicles is being touted as a key part of the company’s strategy to increase overall sales with more premium models, notes the industry news source.

Slated to go on sale in Europe and the US later this year, the Alfa Romeo 4C sports car is expected to be the first in a number of new vehicles in the works.

The overall plan includes revamping Alfa Romeo’s two existing compact cars and adding seven new models to the line-up by 2016, reports Automotive News.

A key component of the strategy includes leveraging Alfa Romeo’s 103-year-old history as a performance brand to lure in new buyers.

After nearly a 20-year hiatus in the U.S., Alfa Romeo’s return to the states is considered pivotal to the longterm success of the brand.

The Italian carmaker has already proven that it’s capable of successfully pulling off a revival with the relaunch of the Fiat brand in the US after being absent 28 years. Though a far easier buy-in for consumers due to the price point, Fiat has gone from being the brunt of jokes in years past to a trendy fashion statement with the introduction of the new 500 compact. Even in tough-to-crack markets such as Los Angeles, the Fiat 500 has garnered a lot of appeal among consumers.

However, getting Americans to buy into a more expensive Alfa Romeo could prove to be far more challenging. Then again. maybe not.

Get our Top Stories delivered to your inbox: