by Christopher Freeburn | September 24, 2012 11:48 am
Fans of speedy Italian sports cars can rejoice. Alfa Romeo will return to the U.S. in 2014.
The iconic brand, owned by Italy’s Fiat (PINK:FIATY), first reached America in the 1950s and became popular, even appearing in Hollywood movies, The Wall Street Journal notes.
Fiat acquired the brand in 1986, but withdrew it from the U.S. market in 1995 after sales dwindled.
Now it’s coming back. Fiat will begin the reintroducing Alfa Romeo with a two-seat sports car, made in Italy. Later, the company will add a sedan, named the Giulia, manufactured at a Belvidere, Mich., factory.
Alfa Romeo models sold in the U.S. will have engines based on designs from Maserati and Ferrari, the high-end sports car brands also owned by Fiat.
Fiat, which owns a controlling stake in Chrysler, has seen its U.S. sales soar as Chrysler recovers from the financial crisis, which almost sank the brand. Alfa Romeos will be distributed in the U.S. primarily through dealerships controlled by Chrysler.
Fiat is betting that rising U.S. sales will help balance declines in Europe.
Shares of Fiat rose more than 1% in over-the-counter trading in New York on Monday morning.
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