DETROIT -- Alfa Romeo’s second completely redesigned vehicle in its brand overhaul will be a sedan that might carry the historic Giulia nameplate, top executives with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles hinted.
Speaking to reporters in Detroit, CEO Sergio Marchionne let slip that the next Alfa -- set to be revealed June 24 in Italy on the brand’s 105th anniversary -- would be a sedan.
Later, Harald Wester, the global head of Alfa Romeo, said he would not contradict Marchionne.
Asked if the sedan would carry the historic Guilia name, Wester said that both the Giulia and Giulietta nameplates “are milestones in Alfa’s history which are worthwhile to be reconsidered. But, he said, “I’m not confirming” the name.
The sedan will be positioned in the market between the BMW 3 series and BMW 5 series, acording to Automotive News Europe sources. Codenamed project 952, the sedan is a successor to the Europe-only 159.
Alfa Romeo wants to reach 400,000 annual sales by 2018 from a redesigned lineup. The brand sold 74,000 units in 2014, mainly in Europe.
Wester is leading Alfa’s U.S. resurrection. For U.S. dealers, the sedan is more important to the brand’s comeback than is the 4C and 4C Spider shown Monday at the Detroit auto show because it represents the brand’s first volume play. The two-seat 4C and 4C Spider represent only about 3,000 sales per year globally.
About 150,000 of the 400,000 annual global sales goal for Alfa are expected to come from North American consumers, said Reid Bigland, Alfa’s brand head in North America.
In November, Alfa began selling new cars in the U.S. for the first time since 1995, and sold 91 Alfa Romeo 4Cs during November and December.
Future Alfa customers -- the brand refers to its many enthusiasts as ‘Alfisti’ -- are car enthusiasts who are more likely to be driving high-end German or Japanese sports cars now than they are likely to have owned an Alfa Romeo before the brand left the U.S., Wester said.
Luca Ciferri contributed to this report