So where are you, Alfa Romeo? Fiat's sporty/premium brand was scheduled to return to the United States by the end of this year, with the 4C sports car. But the launch has been delayed until the second quarter of 2014, rounding out a decade of disappointment for American Alfisti.
Here's a rundown of all the rescheduling:
1995: Alfa pulled out of the United States with a reputation for poor quality.
2000: Fiat Group CEO Paolo Cantarella said a new Alfa Spider would be sold here in 2003 as part of Fiat's ill-fated alliance with General Motors.
2002: The plan was put back a year because of trouble developing the Spider.
2003: With Fiat Auto near bankruptcy, new Fiat Group CEO Giuseppe Morchio canceled Alfa's U.S. plans.
2005: As new CEO Sergio Marchionne was revitalizing Fiat, he said Alfa would return to the United States in 2008 with the 159 sedan, the Brera coupe and the Spider.
2007: The launch was pushed back to late 2009 to allow for construction of a plant in the United States or Mexico.
November 2008: The return was deferred again -- until 2011 -- because of the weak U.S. market, uncertainty about local manufacturing and distribution, and because Fiat was trying to buy Chrysler.
November 2009: The idea was placed under review.
February 2010: Marchionne said: "There is a strong likelihood that the brand will be back here within the next 24 months," thus in mid-2012.
July 2011: Marchionne said a return would not happen before mid-2013. The problem: He had rejected the proposed styling for the Giulia sedan three times in the previous 18 months.
January 2013: "For sure it's coming back this year with the 4C," Marchionne said. "We'll be selling the Alfa Romeo 4C. We're finalizing the car now so it should be here by the end of the year."
September 2013: The latest delay, until the second quarter of next year, is hardly a surprise. The 4C was to go on sale in Europe last spring, but because of teething problems it won't arrive in showrooms there before year end. The U.S. debut was always going to be about six months after the European launch. Thus hope springs eternal for the 205 U.S. dealers who were led to believe they would get Alfa Romeo when they signed up to sell the Fiat 500.