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Wayne Cunningham/CNET

Chrysler has key role in Alfa's 2012 plan for U.S.

Automotive News reports on Fiat's plans to relaunch Alfa Romeo.

Automotive News
Alfa Romeo Giulietta
Fiat showed off the new Alfa Romeo Giulietta at the 2010 Geneva Auto Show. It won't come to the U.S. until 2014. Wayne Cunningham/CNET

TURIN, Italy--A plan to revive Alfa Romeo as it nears its 100th birthday is shaping up, and Chrysler Group has an important role.

Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Chrysler and Fiat, made a strong commitment to Fiat's money-losing sporty brand during a presentation last week of Fiat's five-year strategy. Here are highlights of the plan:

-- Sales of Alfa vehicles at Chrysler Group dealerships in the United States start in the second half of 2012.

-- In 2014, North America will account for 85,000 of Alfa's 500,000 global sales.

-- Fiat wants to transform the brand into a "full-line premium carmaker" with help from seven new or redesigned Alfa models from 2010 to 2014.

-- The U.S. automaker will build two new Alfa crossover models for sale in North America and Europe.

The Chrysler-built vehicles for Alfa will be:

-- A compact SUV based on the Fiat compact architecture that underpins the Giulietta hatchback in Europe. Production will begin in 2012

-- A large SUV, similar in size to the next Jeep Liberty crossover. Production will start in 2014.

The crossovers will be built in two of the three U.S. plants Chrysler Group plans to retool for new Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep models based on Fiat- Chrysler's Compact Wide architecture.

Alfa, which will be 100 years old in June, also will sell a mid-sized sedan and station wagon in the United States starting in late 2012. These two vehicles will have the name Giulia. In Europe, they will replace the 159 range and will be built in Italy.

In the United States, Alfa will sell a five-door version of its MiTo minicar, sold in Europe as a three-door. The five-door MiTo will be sold in Europe and North America starting in 2013.

Alfa will launch the Giulietta in North America after the car gets a face-lift in 2014. The Giulietta makes its European debut in May.

(Source: Automotive News)