FRANKFURT -- Alfa Romeo wants to get back into the fast lane in Germany.
Two years ago the Italian brand was selling almost 25,800 cars a year in Europe's biggest auto market.
But Alfa Romeo's German sales went into decline. Last year, Alfa Romeo managed to sell just 15,350 units.
Kirsten Rönnau, the new chief of Alfa Romeo Germany, says she hopes to reverse the trend.
"For the current year, I expect 16,500 new registrations. And we are aiming for approximately 26,000 new registrations by the end of 2006."
Rönnau has already identified two major weak points at the German importer: fleet business and the dealer network. She hopes that the fleet sector will represent up to
10 percent of the brand's total unit sales by the end of 2005.
Alfa Romeo's sales in Germany declined because the company's aging product line could not compete with new premium models offered by rivals such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi.
Rönnau said: "We have a number of new models coming through. In mid-November the four-wheel-drive Crosswagon Q4, based on the 156, will be launched. Starting in January, the restyled 147 base model will be available. In June 2005 we'll have the successor to the 156, the 157, and in autumn [of 2005] the Sportwagon."
The number of Alfa Romeo dealers in Germany will rise to 270 from 176 by the end of next year.