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Italian Plant To Build New Alfa Romeo And Jeep SUVs


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Italian Plant To Build New Alfa Romeo And Jeep SUVs

By Viknesh Vijayenthiran


November 29th, 2010

2003 Alfa Romeo Kamal ConceptEnlarge PhotoHot on the heels of news that Maserati will be launching a new SUV based on the Jeep Grand Cherokee in 2013 comes confirmation that Alfa Romeo will also get its own Jeep-based SUV, a key model in the Italian brand’s return to the U.S. market.

The confirmation comes from the highest source, Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne. Speaking recently with Bloomberg, Marchionne revealed that Alfa Romeo and Jeep will launch two separate mid-size SUVs based on a common platform. For Jeep, the new model will replace the current Compass and Patriot.

Both the Alfa Romeo and Jeep SUVs will be built at Fiat's Mirafiori plant in Turin, Italy, which will be upgraded at a cost of more than $1.3 billion. The move is part of a greater plan that will see Fiat-Chrysler spend close to $30 billion between now and 2014 in upgrading factories and vehicle centers in Italy in exchange for union concessions on work rules.

The underpinnings for both vehicles are expected to be based on a revised version of the modular Compact-Wide platform that will also spawn the Giulia sedan, the replacement for the Alfa Romeo 159--yet another model to be built at the upgraded Mirafiori plant. Key rivals for the Alfa Romeo SUV will be the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLK, all models benchmarked by Fiat-Chrysler engineers.

The new SUVs will arrive on the market by the fourth quarter of 2012, which also suggests that the Alfa Romeo brand will be back in the U.S. very soon.

Pictured above is the 2003 Alfa Romeo Kamal Concept, which shows a possible design direction for the new Italian-influenced SUV and proves that such a model has been on the cards for quite some time now.



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Report: Fiat to build Jeeps in Italy

by Dan Roth (RSS feed) on Nov 29th 2010 at 10:01AM

It's beginning to look like Fiat's plan for Chrysler includes heavier use of the C-EVO platform that underpins the Alfa Romeo Giulietta. There's already going to be a Dodge based off the C-EVO, and Fiat has just laid out plans to build a new Jeep model on the platform at the company's Mirafiori plant in Italy. The Jeep model will share the production line with Alfa models, and Fiat is trying to get the work rules tweaked to help support the 280,000 vehicle per year volume. The Detroit News reports that Italian unions are pleased with the plan that bumps volume by about 100,000 cars versus 2009 output.

Most of the Italian-built Jeeps will be exported, mainly to the United States. Engines and transmissions will come from Chrysler's U.S. operations, at least for vehicles headed here. Fiat and Chrysler are sharing plants and volume with apparent ease, with a planned Maserati SUV coming out of Detroit's Jefferson North plant and sharing much with the excellent Jeep Grand Cherokee. A mid-size Fiat SUV is also expected to use the Dodge Journey as a canvas; all moves that underscore how stingy things were under Daimler.



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