[THE INVESTOR] Italian-American carmaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has not yet decided when it will launch the sports car brand Alfa Romeo in Korea, amid growing speculation of its imminent arrival, according to company officials on Oct. 12.
“We would like to bring the Alfa Romeo brand here. We are considering the prospects,” a spokesperson from FCA Korea told The Investor. “But the exact time frame has yet to be decided.”
Local media reports have noted that the 107-year-old Italian marque will officially launch here sometime in the second half of next year as part of the carmaker’s attempt to provide diverse offerings in Korea where the imported car market is dominated by German brands.
The expectations are high since FCA Chairman Sergio Marchionne in 2015 hinted that Giulia midsized sedan will hit Korea around 2016.
Earlier this year, FCA Korea President Pablo Rosso also told reporters it is pushing to launch Alfa Romeo cars.
But the planned entry has been put off for later.
The local unit explained it has to consider different factors before deciding to introduce Alfa Romeo here, including the price, lineup and market circumstances, among others.
“After thoroughly reviewing the matter, we will make a decision,” the official said.
Industry watchers project that once Alfa Romeo is launched here, FCA Korea will likely end Fiat and Chrysler cars following poor sales, while keeping the popular Jeep brand under its portfolio.
FCA Korea, however, denied ceasing Fiat and Chrysler cars, adding it plans to expand the lineup.
By Ahn Sung-mi (firstname.lastname@example.org)