New Alfa Romeo CEO Karl-Heinz Kalbfell confirmed the Italian sports car brand is planning to return to the US, but declined to set a clear date.
“North America is a must for a brand like Alfa Romeo, but the date of our return now is just hypothetical,” Kalbfell said in an interview at the Geneva auto show.
Kalbfell, who joined Alfa Romeo January 1, said his priorities for the brand are to recreate a top management team, strengthen the European dealer network and expand in Asia.
He said he will call in three to four seasoned outsiders to reshape Alfa Romeo. The first will arrive May 1, taking over sales in all of Europe except Italy. The second will oversee sales outside Europe.
Kalbfell expressed disappointment with Alfa Romeo’s dealer network. “With the current dealer network we have, we could sell just 12,000 Brera coupes a year. With a proper dealer network, selling twice that number would be achievable.”
The Alfa Romeo boss also said there would be a successor to the medium-premium 166, dubbed the 169. He declined to say whether that car would be based on a stretched version of the Premium platform used for the 159 and Brera, or whether it would use the Maserati Quattroporte platform.
Kalbfell also said he wanted Alfa Romeo to enter China and to grow in Japan.