The Chi­nese way

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I en­joyed your Au­gust sto­ries on Alfa Romeo, but there are go­ing to be some road­blocks to its fu­ture as a global player. One is the Chi­nese mar­ket.

The Chi­nese road sys­tem is not at the level of the US or Eu­rope. So an ex­cel­lent-han­dling car with the rep­u­ta­tion of Alfa is wasted.

The Chi­nese like cars that have big back seats for chauf­feur­ing, big boots, and a smooth ride. This de­scribes old-school Amer­i­can brands like Chrysler. The Chi­nese mar­ket saved the Buick brand from death in 2009 – why couldn’t it turn around Chrysler? Us­ing the Gior­gio plat­form as a base of mul­ti­ple cars tai­lored to the Chi­nese mar­ket would be a bet­ter fit than Alfa would be.

Here in the States, we haven’t seen a new Alfa since the late ’80s. There are gen­er­a­tions of young peo­ple who don’t know about Alfa or its her­itage, and are not wait­ing for it with bated breath.

Alfa owner FCA will have trou­ble win­ning over BMW and Audi cus­tomers who are used to leas­ing their cars. They will just go back to deal­ers and sign a new lease and not look at the Alfa prod­ucts. Charles Win­ing­ham

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