Advertisement

Alfa Romeo: U.S. Not Ready For MiTo


Alfa Romeo has been planning a return to the U.S. market for some time now, but the latest news emerging out of Italy suggests that the brand will not be bringing its recently introduced and ultra stylish MiTo hatch to American dealers, instead focusing on larger cars.

The news comes directly from Alfa Romeo CEO Sergio Cravero, who revealed to Automotive News that the business case for the MiTo hatch coming to the U.S. just didn't add up. Cravero explained that the current U.S. market is not comfortable enough yet with small, luxury cars such as the MiTo. He estimated that volume in the U.S. would only amount to "roughly 20,000 units a year", a figure that is too low to make an American MiTo a viable business proposition.

Rather than the smaller Alfa Romeo MiTo model, the U.S. market will be receiving the upcoming Milano model, a mid-sized five-door hatch that was snapped up close by spy photographers last week. While company officials have settled on bringing the Milano to the U.S., other models that could be coming Stateside have yet to be decided as U.S. partner Chrysler must still decide which platforms it will be using for production in North America.

Alfa Romeo's parent company, Fiat, and their recent alliance with Detroit-based Chrysler will see the American brand borrowing platforms from the Italian manufacturer. Alfa Romeo's Milano model will serve as the underpinning for a future Chrysler sedan, but other models are still being decided upon by Fiat and Chrysler higher-ups.
Advertisement
 
Follow Us

 

Have an opinion?

  • Posting indicates you have read this site's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use
  • Notify me when there are more comments
Comments (12)
  1. WTF, Alfa? "U.S. market is not comfortable enough yet with small, luxury cars such as the MiTo." Have you heard of the Mini Cooper? If BMW can sell loads of $30K hatches in America, why can't Alfa?
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  2. Mike, I could not agree more!! Why can't Alfa bring the MiTo to America?!?! Look at the VW GTI, it also appears to be on the same level, just as with the Mini... Big mistake not bringing this car to America, especially when downsizing is the new fad. People Downsizing from their bloated V8 Luxo crusers would likely consider a MiTo as a daily driver and would absolutely pay the entry fee for this pint sized premium. Alfa could also produce this on American soil to reduce costs..
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  3. So predictable and sad. We are denied choice over and over.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  4. The guy does not have faith in his own product. What a shame. People would buy this car on emotional basis in a heart beat. I know I would.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  5. Isn't this car the base for the new upcoming dodge hornet? If so, we at least will have some type of this car in the USA. Better then nothing right?
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  6. Isn't this car the base for the new upcoming dodge hornet? If so, we at least will have some type of this car in the USA. Better then nothing right?

    The Hornet concept was originally based on a compact made by the Chinese company, Chery, to be produced be Chery. The deal fell through so it is uncertain what the future holds for the Hornet. Building it off of the MiTo platform is not a half bad idea though.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  7. At the beginning of the year, BMW reported that not only had their global sales been down, but that their MINI division was suffering the hardest, selling 34% less vehicles than the year before(1). In February, MINI eliminated 850 jobs at its Cowley plant in Oxfordshire(2). If the case for the MiTo, then, is Alfa to sell "loads of $30K hatches in America" just like MINI, then expect Alfa to never make a profit on it.

    Times have changed following the events of last year, and if you expect sales in a luxury-compact hatch segment to be the same as they were before, I highly doubt it given the amount of trouble MINI is currently facing. Not all people buy cars because they have an emotional attachment to it. This is not a sports car. It does not do 0-60 in less than five seconds. It's a compact hatch, designed as a city car and it carries people. It has a very utilitarian focus. But for Alfa, it makes sense not to drop a premium hatch in America in their launch line-up, people need to warm up to Alfa. How long has Alfa been off the scene? They need to come back, and soon.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  8. (1) http://carscoop.blogspot.com/2009/02/bmw-group-global-january-sales-down-242.html

    (2) http://layofftracker.blogspot.com/2009/02/bmw-cuts-850-jobs-at-mini-car-plant-in.html
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  9. At the beginning of the year, BMW reported that not only had their global sales been down, but that their MINI division was suffering the hardest, selling 34% less vehicles than the year before(1). In February, MINI eliminated 850 jobs at its Cowley plant in Oxfordshire(2). If the case for the MiTo, then, is Alfa to sell "loads of $30K hatches in America" just like MINI, then expect Alfa to never make a profit on it.

    When people are losing jobs and houses, a $25K small car is a luxury that can be postponed - MINI are still doing rather well considering we're still in a recession.

    Yes, GTI's do fairly well, but the C30 isn't.

    Now that Fiat have the Chrysler dealer network, I think that Fiat/Alfa would do well to just bring the car over at a reasonable price and let the US car-buying public be the judge of what it likes and what sells.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  10. Fiat/Alfa should re-badge their line-up in America as Plymouths. I don't think the Dodge Badge will work for small passenger cars.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  11. Isn't this car the base for the new upcoming dodge hornet? If so, we at least will have some type of this car in the USA. Better then nothing right?

    The Hornet concept was originally based on a compact made by the Chinese company, Chery, to be produced be Chery. The deal fell through so it is uncertain what the future holds for the Hornet. Building it off of the MiTo platform is not a half bad idea though.

    Finally the Dodge Hornet will see the light of day in 2011, being built on Fiat’s 199 platform. Chrysler’s hang-up with Fiat will cancel previous plans to build the Hornet on a Nissan-based platform. The Alfa Romeo MiTo will join the Hornet on Fiat’s 199 platform and will also be built at Chrysler’s Belvidere Assembly Plant in 2011.

    Expect to see the Fiat 500 and Jeep Panda tol be built at Chrysler’s Toluca, Mexico plant and should be in dealerships by Jul 2011.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  12. This is very disapointing news. I was very excited to hear that we might get the Mito here in the states.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

 

Have an opinion? Join the conversation!

Advertisement
Advertisement

Take Us With You!

 

Get FREE Dealer Quotes

From dealers near you
Go!
Advertisement

Research New Cars

Go!


 
© 2014 MotorAuthority. All Rights Reserved. MotorAuthority is published by High Gear Media. Stock photography by izmo, Inc. Send us feedback.