Ready for Sexy Italians? Alfa Romeo is Back Baby!

alfa romeo 4c

Do you love Sexy Italians?  Then you are in luck because it was just announced that 86 existing Fiat and Maserati dealerships in the US and Canada have been awarded franchises to sell the fabled Alfa Romeo marquee.  The Italian marquee used to be sold in the US but they pulled out in the 90's due to strong competition from Mazda with it's Miata, which is the best selling roadster of all time.

In the US there will be an initial group of 82 dealerships spread across 33 states that will be able to sell Alfa Romeos.  From the dealership list we can see that California, Texas, and Florida having the largest concentration of Alfa Romoe dealerships.  There are 4 Canadian dealerships that have secured rights so far.   There will be other franchises awarded later this year according to Alfa Romeo which should please fans of the brand.

All these dealerships will be able to sell the beautiful and extremely sexy 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C coupe and the limited-edition Alfa Romeo 4C Launch Edition when the iconic Italian sports car brand returns to the North American market.  Some of our readers might recall that CarNewsCafe but the Alfa Romeo 4C was awarded our “2014 Best Car for a Date.

They should be able to start selling 4C's sometime this year and we assume they will expand to sell other Alfa Romeo vehicles as time progresses.  It will be interesting to see how Alfa Romeo stacks up against other luxury automakers currently on the market.

“This group of dealers represents the first phase in the Alfa Romeo dealer network selection process,” said Peter Grady, Vice President of Network Development, Chrysler Group LLC. “Each Alfa Romeo dealer will have a unique staff dedicated to the brand’s premium market clientele. We require each Alfa Romeo dealer to have their sales and technical staff go through an intensive curriculum to ensure the highest levels of customer care and proficiency of the Alfa Romeo 4C. We anticipate that the Alfa Romeo dealer network ultimately will exceed 300 franchises in North America.”

We tried to get resident Alfisti Nicolas Zart, and CarNewsCafe co-founder, to comment.  Unfortunately upon hearing this news he soiled his pants.   😉

Partnering with existing Fiat and Maserati dealerships is a good start and reintroduction for Alfa Romeo.  I'm wondering though if some dealerships will drop Dodge to sell Alfa Romoes though?  Still seems like Dodge could get the Brand axe if people flock to these sexy Italians, which we at CarNewsCafe definitely think will happen.

We at CarNewsCafe think they will do well if marketed right.  Sex always sells and Alfa Romoes, love them or hate them, have plenty of sex appeal.

Here is a complete list of Alfa Romeo dealerships that have been awarded franchises in the U.S., followed by the four dealers in Canada.  The list is in apathetically order.

Alfa Romeo Dealerships

Alabama
FIAT of Huntsville, dba Alfa Romeo of Huntsville, Huntsville, Ala.

Arkansas
Landers FIAT, dba Landers Alfa Romeo, Benton, Ark.
FIAT of Fayetteville, dba Alfa Romeo of Fayetteville, Fayetteville, Ark.

Arizona
Larry H. Miller FIAT Tucson, dba Larry H. Miller Alfa Romeo Tucson, Tucson, Ariz.
FIAT of Scottsdale, dba Alfa Romeo of Scottsdale, Scottsdale, Ariz.

California
FIAT of Burlingame, dba Alfa Romeo of Burlingame, Burlingame, Calif.
FIAT of Bakersfield, dba Alfa Romeo of Bakersfield, Bakersfield, Calif.
McKevitt FIAT, dba McKevitt Alfa Romeo, Berkeley, Calif.
Premier FIAT of Fremont, dba Premier Alfa Romeo of Fremont, Newark, Calif.
Orange Coast FIAT, dba Orange Coast Alfa Romeo, Costa Mesa, Calif.
Santa Monica FIAT, dba Santa Monica Alfa Romeo, Santa Monica, Calif.
FIAT of Los Angeles, dba Alfa Romeo of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Calif.
Kearny Mesa FIAT, dba Kearny Mesa Alfa Romeo, San Diego, Calif.
Walter’s FIAT, dba Walter’s Alfa Romeo, Riverside, Calif.
Mossy FIAT, dba Mossy Alfa Romeo, National City, Calif.
FIAT of San Francisco (San Francisco Motors), dba Alfa Romeo of San Francisco, San Francisco, Calif.
Maserati of Walnut Creek, dba Alfa Romeo of Walnut Creek, Walnut Creek, Calif.

Colorado
AutoNation FIAT North Denver, dba AutoNation Alfa Romeo North Denver, Northglenn, Colo.

Connecticut
FIAT of Fairfield County, dba Alfa Romeo of Fairfield County, Stamford, Conn.

Florida
Rick Case FIAT, dba Rick Case Alfa Romeo, Davie, Fla.
FIAT of North Miami, dba Alfa Romeo of North Miami, North Miami, Fla.
FIAT of Melbourne, dba Alfa Romeo of Melbourne, Melbourne, Fla.
FIAT of Pensacola, dba Alfa Romeo of Pensacola, Pensacola, Fla.
Sunset FIAT of Sarasota, dba Sunset Alfa Romeo of Sarasota, Sarasota, Fla.
FIAT of Winter Haven, dba Alfa Romeo of Winter Haven, Winter Haven, Fla.
FIAT of Orange Park, dba Alfa Romeo of Orange Park, Jacksonville, Fla.
Greenway FIAT of East Orlando, dba Greenway Alfa Romeo of East Orlando, East Orlando, Fla.
Fields FIAT, dba Fields Alfa Romeo, Orlando, Fla.

Georgia
FIAT of Savannah, dba Alfa Romeo of Savannah, Savannah, Ga.

Iowa
D&D FIAT, dba D&D Alfa Romeo, Davenport, Iowa
Billion FIAT, dba Billion Alfa Romeo, Clive, Iowa

Illinois
FIAT of Chicago, dba Alfa Romeo of Chicago, Chicago, Ill.
Bettenhausen FIAT of Tinley Park, dba Bettenhausen Alfa Romeo of Tinley Park, Tinley Park, Ill.
FIAT of Metro East, dba Alfa Romeo of Metro East, Fairview Heights, Ill.

Indiana
FIAT of Glenbrook, dba Alfa Romeo of Glenbrook, Fort Wayne, Ind.
Expressway FIAT of Evansville, dba Expressway Alfa Romeo of Evansville, Evansville, Ind.

Kentucky
Jake Sweeney FIAT, dba Jake Sweeney Alfa Romeo, Florence, Ky.

Louisiana
Landers FIAT, dba Landers Alfa Romeo, Shreveport, La.

Maryland
Heritage FIAT, dba Heritage Alfa Romeo, Owings Mills, Md.
Criswell Maserati, dba Criswell Alfa Romeo, Germantown, Md.

Michigan
Suburban FIAT, dba Suburban Alfa Romeo, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Fox FIAT, dba Fox Alfa Romeo, Traverse City, Mich.
Golling FIAT, dba Golling Alfa Romeo, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
FIAT of Lakeside, dba Alfa Romeo of Lakeside, Macomb, Mich.
Zeigler FIAT of Grandville, dba Zeigler Alfa Romeo of Grandville, Grandville, Mich.

Minnesota
FIAT of Bloomington, dba Alfa Romeo of Bloomington, Bloomington, Minn.

Missouri
Northtowne FIAT of Kansas City, dba Northtowne Alfa Romeo of Kansas City, Kansas City, Mo.

North Carolina
Hendrick FIAT of Cary, dba Hendrick Alfa Romeo of Cary, Cary, N.C.

Nebraska
FIAT of Omaha, dba Alfa Romeo of Omaha, Omaha, Neb.

New Jersey
FIAT of Maple Shade, dba Alfa Romeo of Maple Shade, Maple Shade, N.J.
Fullerton FIAT, dba Fullerton Alfa Romeo, Somerville, N.J.

Nevada
FIAT of Las Vegas, dba Alfa Romeo of Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nev.
Findlay FIAT, dba Findlay Alfa Romeo, Henderson, Nev.

New York
FIAT of Larchmont, dba Alfa Romeo of Larchmont, Larchmont, N.Y.

Ohio
Bob & Chuck Eddy FIAT, dba Bob & Chuck Eddy Alfa Romeo, Youngstown, Ohio
Yark FIAT, dba Yark Alfa Romeo, Toledo, Ohio
Bob-Boyd FIAT, dba Bob-Boyd Alfa Romeo, Columbus, Ohio
Bob Ross FIAT, dba Bob Ross Alfa Romeo, Centerville, Ohio

Oklahoma
FIAT of Edmond, dba Alfa Romeo of Edmond, Edmond, Okla.

Pennsylvania
Baierl FIAT, dba Baierl Alfa Romeo, Wexford, Pa.

South Carolina
Benson FIAT, dba Benson Alfa Romeo, Greer, S.C.

Tennessee
Harper FIAT, dba Harper Alfa Romeo, Knoxville, Tenn.

Texas
FIAT of Austin, dba Alfa Romeo of Austin, Austin, Texas
Holt FIAT of Fort Worth, dba Holt Alfa Romeo of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, Texas
Northside FIAT, dba Northside Alfa Romeo, Spring, Texas
Randall Noe FIAT, dba Randall Noe Alfa Romeo, Tyler, Texas
Allen Samuels FIAT, dba Allen Samuels Alfa Romeo, Waco, Texas
FIAT of Corpus Christi, dba Alfa Romeo of Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi, Texas
Helfman FIAT, dba Helfman Alfa Romeo, Houston, Texas
Brown FIAT, dba Brown Alfa Romeo, Laredo, Texas
FIAT of McKinney, dba Alfa Romeo of McKinney, McKinney, Texas
Cavender FIAT, dba Cavender Alfa Romeo, Selma, Texas

Virginia
Safford FIAT of Tysons Corner, dba Safford Alfa Romeo of Tysons Corner, Vienna, Va.
Safford FIAT of Fredericksburg, dba Safford Alfa Romeo of Fredericksburg, Fredericksburg, Va.
FIAT of Alexandria, dba Alfa Romeo of Alexandria, Alexandria, Va.
Pomoco FIAT of Newport News, dba Pomoco Alfa Romeo of Newport News, Newport News, Va.

Vermont
Berlin City FIAT, dba Berlin City Alfa Romeo, Williston, Vt.

Washington
FIAT of Tacoma, dba Alfa Romeo of Tacoma, Tacoma, Wash.
Barton FIAT, dba Barton Alfa Romeo, Spokane, Wash.

Wisconsin
Bergstrom Maserati, dba Bergstrom Alfa Romeo, Appleton, Wis.

West Virginia
Urse FIAT of Morgantown, dba Urse Alfa Romeo of Morgantown, Morgantown, W. Va.
Moses FIAT of St. Albans, dba Moses Alfa Romeo of St. Albans, St. Albans, W. Va.

Canada
FIAT of Vancouver, dba Alfa Romeo of Vancouver, Vancouver, B.C.
Maranello FIAT, dba Maranello Alfa Romeo, Vaughan, Ont.
LaSalle FIAT, dba LaSalle Alfa Romeo, LaSalle, Quebec
JD FIAT, dba JD Alfa Romeo, Boischatel, Quebec

Will Dodge get the Brand axe because of Alfa Romeo?

alfa romeo 4c

Rumors have circulated over the past few months among the automotive press that Dodge, a venerable American automotive brand, could be getting the axe from Chrysler-Fiat boss Serigo Marchionne.  The reason for this is simple, Dodge doesn't make sense for the overall goals of the company.

Before we get boatloads of hate mail for even running this article and editorial, Dodge fans need to think about the fact that the “Dodge” moniker was dropped from the truck division which is now known as “Ram Trucks.”  Also the Dodge Viper is not called that by the company but is either referred to as “Viper” or “SRT Viper” in press material they company circulates.  Since the truck division is considered a strength of Chrysler and the Viper is the company's flagship model many considered both moves a bit odd at the time.  These leaves auto journalists and analysts under the impression that executives wants to drop Dodge altogether and not just on the names of some vehicles.

It's not that Dodge doesn't have value and that it isn't a good marque for Chrysler-Fiat.  It just doesn't make sense for the company's future plans.  It's clear that sergio Marchionne wants to bring back Alfa Romeo, a luxury Italian brand, back to the US market.  To do this they will want to utilize the existing dealership infrastructure the company already has.  However Chrysler dealerships already have a lot of brand to choose from and the showroom might be getting a bit crowded to offer so many different automakers cars in the same place.  Could Dodge get booted out of dealerships to make way for Alfa Romeo?

Recently Aaron Turpen cited that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), the official corporate name for the company, released a new FCA logo.  While the new logo isn't anything to really talk about is shows that Marchionne doesn't want to live in the past and is focusing on the future of his auto companies.  With a weakened European market the FCA alliance is working on becoming leaner to stay alive and relevant.  Is importing sexy Italian cars the way to do that?  Possibly.

Dropping Dodge would have benefits for FCA.  They wouldn't have to cross promote models against Chrysler and Jeep.  The marketing and advertising budgets could be focused on bringing in Alfa Romeo as a brand into the minds of US consumers.  Of course one look at an Alfa Romeos I'm pretty sure you wouldn't hesitate to buy one.  (Cars like the Alfa Romeo 4C are hard to forget.)  Additionally since Alfa Romeos are luxury cars they would charge a premium on them which means they would make better profits on them.  

The disadvantage is that an Alfa Romeo buyer… well that's a lot different than a Dodge, Chrysler, or Jeep buyer.  This is something that the Fiat has experienced firsthand as smalls for the small Italian car are nowhere near what FCA alliance anticipated.

Do you think it makes sense for Dodge to get the axe to make way for Alfa Romeo?   Should Sergio Marchionne think of something else, like axing Chrysler?

5 Tips for Buying a Used Car

Alfa Romeo Spider
Alfa Romeo Spider

Car buying is on a new upswing.  Reuters recently reported that overall car buying (new and used) has risen drastically in the past 4 years.  Car sales rose 13 percent to 1,188,865 cars and light trucks sold during the month of September at U.S. auto dealerships.  That was the best month since March 2008, just after the start of the recession and this shows promise for the auto industry.

The upswing is mainly due to rising consumer confidence, making people feel safer to open their wallets on car purchases.  However, many Americans are still feeling the tight with their money in this economy as it is still moving at a snail's pace.  That's why more people are considering used cars over new cars these days.  If you are one of these people here are “5 Tips for Buying a Used Car.”

Preparation is Key

Preparation is crucial in a used car buying search. Spending time researching different models and trims can help you get a better price and know what car fits your needs. The internet offers a wealth of information about used cars – learn about the different models, options, reliability, prices, etc.  The more you know the better, the better prepared you are to find the car you want and get a good deal.

Check Your Credit

If you're a used car buyer with potential credit issues who might find it difficult in getting approved for a loan, again turn to the internet to better educate yourself. Better yet, you should probably know your credit rating in advance, so the entire discussion about financing and credit isn't a surprise to you.

I recommend you look for a reputable credit union that will offer great financing for pre-owned and used vehicles at reasonable rates.  Credit unions offer much better financing than what you will find at a bank all with personalized service.  Credit unions actually offer the same loan rates on new cars as used cars, making them straightforward and easy to understand.  They can also help you improve your credit and some even offer classes on financial literary.

Do the Numbers

When seeking a used car, know what your budget is and where it will be a year from now. Don’t shop for a cool luxury convertible car if you’re living on a shoestring budget, try to find a reasonable and sensible small car that will be easy and not expensive to maintain and insure.

Most used car buyers try to manage a down payment of about 20 percent, while financing the rest. But don't let that get away from you either.  I don't recommending financing a car for more than four years (48 months), and it is a good idea to keep your monthly payment lower than 10 percent of your total income.

You can find great tools online to figure out what a reasonable monthly car payment is for you.  It's best to pay for the car as much upfront as you can but most will need to borrow a little money.

Get the Car Checked

You NEED to get any used car you are considering buying checked and inspected by a reputable independent mechanic BEFORE you buy it.  Unless you are a gearhead, like me, and know what to look for in used cars it's not a good idea to just take a dealership or individuals word on the history of a car.

Did you know that there is no law requiring body shops to report work they have done on vehicles they work on?  A friend's dad is master painter and bodyman and he can make any vehicle that has been in a serious accident look new again.  Meaning Carfax reports can be completely clean, but not tell the whole story about the car.

Eyes that know what to look for will be able to see if a car has been in an accident or if it needs any mechanical fixed to be road-worthy.  Having a used car checked out before you buy it is very important.

Watch for Trade Ins

Most used car dealers will ask if you're trading in a car for the new/used car you've got your eye on.  You want to be careful about talking with the dealership about this.  Trade-in talk shouldn't enter into the negotiation process in my opinion.  Smart used car buyers consider trade-in cars as a separate transaction, and as such don't mention a trade-in factor into the conversation until the end.  Also you will likely get more for your used car if you sold it online via Craigslist or other local ad listing service or website.  Did you know that dealerships typically make a killing on used car trade-ins and not much on selling new cars?  One of dealerships dirty little secrets!  To be sure you are getting a good deal utilize sites like ClearBook.com which assess the value of your used car for the approximate trade-in value.  You will find you typically won't get a good deal.

So don't fret if you are a first-time used car buyer or don't have the best credit rating in the world.  There are plenty of great tools to help you and you should always be looking for opportunities to buy if you are in the market for a new car.  Ask friends, family, and neighbors if they know of any good used cars for sale.  If you have any questions about buying a used car please leave a comment below.