The spreading exchange rate differential between the strengthening euro and weakening U.S. dollar means importing European manufactured models to North America is now significantly more expensive than just a few years ago. Established import brands like Volkswagen and Audi are already finding it hard, so imagine the challenge Alfa Romeo has on its hands with trying to juggle launching the brand and dealing with unfavorable exchange rates.

Alfa Romeo plans to return to the U.S. sometime next year and to deal with the exchange rate issue officials are now considering building a plant in Mexico to supply vehicles to North America. Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne told Reuters that "it could be Mexico" during a recent interview, but Alfa CEO Luca De Meo quickly added that nothing had been confirmed.

The cost of setting up the new plant could be offset by the savings Alfa would make if it didn’t have to import cars but then there’s fears of quality control that also has to come into play. Alfa Romeo already suffers from a reputation of poor quality and reliability and sourcing cars from low-cost centers such as Mexico may not be the ideal solution for the Italian carmaker.

The car that will spearhead Alfa Romeo’s launch into the U.S. is the new 8C Competizione supercar and its Spider sibling, however, don’t expect cheaper versions of these to be built in Mexico.

Alfa Romeo 8C Spider

Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione