By 2010, you want Alfa Romeo to sell 20,000 units a year in North America. Will you be profitable at that volume?

It is highly unlikely that 20,000 units by itself will be profitable because of the amount of money it will require to build this sales volume.

How much will it cost to let North American consumers know that Alfa is back?

Including all the elements of the re-entry, the re-positioning of the brand, the advertising and marketing support, it will cost between €70 million and €100 million. ($93-$130 million US)

How will you build up Alfa’s North American dealer network?

Because of its association with Maserati, our initial dealer base in North America is not big enough. Thus, from January 2007, we will start searching for additional dealers. Anyway, Alfa won’t return in North America before the end of 2008, but we will have all the dealers identified much earlier. Because of CNH’s (Case New Holland) activities in the U.S., this whole issue about parts supports and distribution is gone. We have enough warehouses in the U.S. to support any penetration of the car business. That will be done relatively easily.

What about the products?

We have already done studies in the U.S. with J.D. Power. We got the first findings, so we will be working on the facelifts for the 159, Brera and Spider to ensure that when they are ready for the U.S. launch, they incorporate all the requirements of the U.S. market.

Is it true that Alfa could also offer the Junior and the 149 in the U.S.?

We are looking at it, but no decision has been made.

Alfa has received more than 1,000 orders for the 8C Competizione. You plan to build 500 units. What will you do?

We will build just 500 units, as planned. We have allocated volumes by region and it is first come, first served. It is that simple. There are some (units) that have been allocated to North America, but I will not tell how many. I can only say that I am on the list.”

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