MUNICH (Reuters) -- Alfa Romeo CEO Karl Heinz Kalbfell on Tuesday said the company should boost sales to about 300,000 cars a year in the next 4-5 years by focusing on key European markets and Asia.
Kalbfell also said the United States was still a very tough market and that Alfa Romeo would have to tread carefully if it wanted to return there after an absence of about 15 years.
"We want to go in there with our eyes open, not in a dream world," Kalbfell told reporters on Tuesday at the launch of the new Alfa 159. He declined to give a time frame for Alfa's U.S. comeback.
"We have to consolidate our presence in Italy but we want to grow in Europe, especially in Britain and Germany where we are not happy with the situation," he added.
Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia, particularly Japan and India, were other key markets for Alfa, Kalbfell said.
Alfa Romeo has seen sales slump in the last few years and now only makes about 200,000 cars a year.
Kalbfell was poached from Rolls-Royce earlier this year to head the Fiat unit. He was then also handed responsibility for Maserati, creating a luxury-focused unit to sit between the mass-market Fiat and Lancia brands and the speedy Ferrari arm.
Alfa Romeo and Maserati are among Italy's best known brands, but their businesses have been through bad times that forced them out of the U.S. market. Both brands continue to lose money. But they have started launching new models to boost sales and regain market share.
The sleek new Maserati Quattroporte saloon acted as a springboard to get the marque back into the United States and has fuelled a sales boom, up 60 percent last year to 4,700 units. It aims to sell 5,600 cars this year.