Chrysler has awarded 86 Alfa Romeo franchises in the United States and Canada ahead of the Italian brand’s limited return of the Alfa Romeo 4C coupe later this year.
The franchises are in 33 states, primarily in California, Texas and Florida, according to the automaker. Seventy-nine of the initial 82 franchises in the United States were given to existing Fiat dealers.
The initial supply of Alfa Romeos will be limited. Only 1,500 Alfa Romeo 4Cs will be distributed in North America annually.
A mid-sized Alfa Romeo sedan, based on the brand’s new Georgio architecture, is expected to debut in Europe in late 2015. But it won’t arrive in the United States until at least 2016.
The two-seater already is available in Europe. The selected dealers each will receive a special edition “Launch Edition” of the 4C, the company said in a statement.
“Each Alfa Romeo dealer will have a unique staff dedicated to the brand’s premium market clientele,” Peter Grady, Chrysler’s head of network development, said. “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.”
Grady said the Alfa Romeo network eventually would grow to more than 300 dealerships. The Fiat brand, which returned to the United States in 2011, has more than 220 dealerships.
Lisa Copeland, general manager of Fiat of Austin, said she was excited that her store had been awarded an Alfa franchise.
“We have a waiting list of over 50 clients,” Copeland told Automotive News. “Fiat of Austin is one of the Fiat brand’s top-performing franchises, and was the first Fiat franchise in the United States to sell more than 100 new Fiats in a month. “We will sell every [Alfa] we get!”
Seven other Alfa vehicles, all unidentified in the brand’s five-year global product plan, won’t appear before 2016, brand head Harald Wester said in May.