AD #1904 – Alfa 4C Spider Gets the Axe, FCA Investigated For Sales Fraud, CAFE Mid-Term Battle Begins

July 19th, 2016 at 11:50am

Runtime: 6:35

To watch this episode on YouTube click here.

- CAFE Mid-Term Battle Begins
- China Bans Autonomous Testing On Roads
- Mercedes Bus For the Future
- How To Make Vans Desirable
- FCA Investigated For Sales Fraud
- Alfa 4C Spider To Get the Axe

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36 Comments to “AD #1904 – Alfa 4C Spider Gets the Axe, FCA Investigated For Sales Fraud, CAFE Mid-Term Battle Begins”

  1. pedro fernandez Says:

    Hey Sergio, I guess Americans are not stupid enough to swallow all this passion of driving you tried to push with your blessed Fiats and Alfas? Nothing passionate about having to call Tony every couple of months to fix the damn things

  2. Ron Paris Says:

    Alfa 4C Spider: instant classic a la 2005-06 Ford GT?

  3. WineGeek Says:

    Maybe the 4C should have been priced closer to its sister the Mazda Miata…!! I guess consumers don’t think it is worth the difference.

  4. MJB Says:

    Now, THAT’S a ‘Swagger Wagon’ (Edna)

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    3 The 4C is most closely related to the KTM X-Bow track toy. The FCA product related to the Miata, is Fiat 124.

  6. RumNCoke Says:

    Well, if you’re taller than 5″ 9″ you won’t be fitting in a 4C any time soon. Maybe Alfa can make a 4DD model for the Americas!

  7. GM Veteran Says:

    #3: the sister car to the Miata is the new Fiat 124, not the Alfa 4C.

  8. XA351GT Says:

    I didn’t even know they were selling Alfas here in the US yet. I haven’t seen any in SE PA. Seeing less and less Fiat 500s also.

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    A Miata-based Alfa might make sense, as an up-market 124, if it’s not too pricey. Use the 1.75 Fiat turbo used in the 4C, which would be a performance upgrade over the Miata and 124.

  10. GM Veteran Says:

    So both models of the 4C are being canceled, or just the Spider?

  11. Steve Weintraub Says:

    When The 4C was being talked about prior to being introduced, I predicted that Americans wouldn’t buy a car with 1) no power steering 2) had no room for a suitcase & 3) required a person to be a contortionist to enter and leave. I was laughed at by the self proclaimed experts.

  12. Lisk Says:

    Poor Sergio. He so wants the Alfa brand to succeed that he has invested enormous amounts of capital into the brand with little to show for it. As for F.I.A.T., giving dealers only a couple of models to sell is crazy. Basing everything off of a single line might of worked in the 80′s for Chrysler (the K-Car & offspring), but many variations of a car that didn’t sell very well in its original form is not a good basis for product. More models are needed. The last time FIAT was in town they had products like the 128, 131, 124 Spider and the X1/9.

  13. Sean McElroy Says:

    @XA351GT – I’ve only seen two out on the road. And not even John has had a chance to drive one. The first one I saw was a year ago and had a “manufacturers” plate. So, it was likely an FCA employee or a member of the media. I had not seen another until just a week ago, which I spotted at the doctors office. Good looking car in person, though.

  14. Sean McElroy Says:

    @GM Veteran – Both models of the 4C are being canceled. Sorry for any confusion.

  15. Ron Paris Says:

    Sean: in fairness to FCA though, I would not expect to see a relative exotic like the 4C in the Detroit area (other than the occasional manufacturer’s car).

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #11 I just read a couple articles about the 4C as a daily driver, and both said that no one would want to do that, even if you don’t need any space for cargo.

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    12 The strange thing to me, is that they call all of the U.S. market “500,” except for the 124. The 500, 500L, and 500X are totally unrelated, except that they share some powertrain parts.

    To me, “500″ seems an odd name, even for the smallest one. The car it’s named after had a rear mounted, air cooled 500cc two cylinder engine, thus the name. I don’t see much connection with the current car(s).

  18. GM Veteran Says:

    #15: What? You think just because its the Motor City that no one in the Detroit area is interested in exotic cars? The area has several Porsche dealers, a Ferrari dealer, a Maserati dealer, a Rolls Royce dealer, a Bentley dealer and numerous Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi dealerships. You don’t have to go to LA to find exotic car enthusiasts and owners.

  19. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I know I’m supposed to love the 4C (because just about all the car-mags told me so); I just couldn’t make a connection and neither have many others apparently. Alphas have always been scantly distributed in the U.S. (even in the sixties/seventies when they had, at least, an exclusive following) though small even then.

  20. Lex Says:

    No great loss! I am speaking about the Alpha 4C. I always thought it looked very much like a Tesla Roadster anyway.

    RumNCoke # 6, I like the way you think, DD =Double Deluxe!

  21. Bob White Says:

    The 4C was as DOA as the Cadillac ELR. Anybody could have predicted this in both cases. You have to wonder the level of competence of the executives who make these decisions.

  22. GM Veteran Says:

    On the contrary Bob, you are correct about the laughably overpriced ELR. It was doomed from the day Cadillac announced its pricing. However, the Alfa Romeo 4C was planned to be produced in limited numbers and sold in many markets worldwide (unlike the ELR). So, it doesn’t have to sell like a Camry in the US to be a successful product for FCA. Honestly, I think half of its purpose was to breathe new life into the Alfa Romeo brand in the US, paving the way in a positive light for less expensive models to follow that are intended to sell in higher volumes. Like the 8C that preceded it, the 4C was always meant to be a halo car and generate publicity more than profits.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The 4C is to FCA, what the GT is to Ford, only much less expensive. Both are limited production, limited model run toys, but for people with different amounts of disposable wealth.

  24. John McElroy Says:

    #22. You’re right, the Alfa 4C was done to breathe life into the Alfa brand. But it would have made a lot more sense (in the US) if there were several other Alfa models in the showrooms: use the 4C to lure them in, then sell them something more practical. The should have kept their powder dry for the right moment.

  25. GM Veteran Says:

    I agree wholeheartedly John. Timing seems to be their Achilles heel.

  26. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I believe the 4C needed to make a dent in the market but it came in too bold i.e., too expensive. Had it gained a little momentum, perhaps it may have served it’s purpose as a flagship.

  27. pedro fernandez Says:

    If someone can come up with a modern day affordable Beemer 2002 or 318I type car, they could make a killing.
    There is a market for it.

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    27 That would be a good market for Alfa. Don’t they have something in the works kind of like that?

    The 4C is, basically, a street legal track toy. It costs about the same as a base Corvette, but isn’t nearly as practical as a daily driver, and a Corvette isn’t that practical.

  29. David Sprowl Says:

    Alfa 4C what? huh, The unwashed masses didn’t even know that this car existed. Yea it looks great, but who was going to pay 70K for what looks to be a MR2 look alike? Perhaps Alpha would have better presence if it cross marketed with Dodge or Chrysler. Or maybe tie it into other Fiat product like Chevy did a few years back with the cruz/cavalier and vette. Young buyers most likely have not experienced Fiat products older folks remember them as junk.

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    To me, a much better way to re-intrudece Alfa Romeo to the U.S. would have been with a much less, uh, specialized car than the 4C. Even an Alfa version of the Miata, with a decidedly Italian powertrain would have been better. With only one Alfa product, it needed to be sold with something else, probably Fiat.

    Bring on that rear drive Giulietta, though. That would be interesting.

  31. pedro fernandez Says:

    In the 80′s they had a 4 door sporty car called the Alfetta, I recall testing one and it was quite an eye opening experience for someone who had only driven large, clumsy handling American cars

  32. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit if they price it anywhere like the 4C, then it wont sell.

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yep, they’d need to price it well, below the 2 series and IS.

  34. Max Says:

    I love all of these “car enthusiasts” who can’t even spell “Alfa,” ragging on a car they know nothing about.

    Stick to your Honda Civics.

  35. PistolPete Says:

    I actually just bought a 4C last week and yes, it is a VERY specialized car for a very small NICHE market. That being said, that’s why I LOVE the Alfa 4C. I can’t go anywhere in this car without people taking pictures, talking to me about it, thumbs up, tons of comments etc. Is it a daily driver for someone that drives a Buick? NOPE. It’s a TOY that is an ABSOLUTE blast to drive. If you’re looking for a supercar that you can afford this is the car. What it lacks (power steering, electronic gizmos, soundproofing etc) is what makes it such a great car. It’s not for everyone but if you had the chance to own one you would ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT. It was also predicted it would be a car with no more than a 5 year run so we all knew that.

  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    35 Thanks for that info.

    Yep, a 4C would get a lot more attention than a car like my Corvette, or about anything else, except some of the megabuck priced exotics. Actually, I probably wouldn’t mind a C4 as a daily driver, to got out to breakfast, etc., but I doubt I’d like driving it between Indiana and Florida.