DOUGLAS A. BOLDUC

Alfa 4C, Act II

Automotive News Europe | March 1, 2013 11:34 CET

Douglas A. Bolduc is Managing Editor at Automotive News Europe.
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Getting a close look at the Alfa Romeo 4C when it debuts at the Geneva auto show March 5 will be a challenge if there is a repeat of what happened two years ago at the same show.

When Alfa unveiled the concept version of the small sports car at Geneva in 2011 it seemed like every person in Switzerland was crowded on and around the Fiat subsidiary's tiny stand.

The guy standing closest to the concept was also the person with the widest smile in the building: Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne.

The outpouring of attention for the car that day was something to behold. It also gives an understanding why Marchionne has unwavering faith in Alfa, despite its falling sales and years of financial losses.

He keeps investing billions of euros in Alfa because he saw those faces and knows that the brand has huge potential to tap. How much potential? Marchionne wants Alfa to triple sales to more than 300,000 by 2016.

That won't be easy, but if Alfa continues to make models that are as stunning as the 4C, anything is possible. One thing is for sure, Alfa will need to replace the carpet on its stand because of all the foot traffic the 4C will cause.

Alfa will limit 4C production to 2,500 units, so the eagerly anticipated coupe will be an image booster rather than a volume booster when it goes on sale globally later this year.

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