- Alfa Romeo dealers in the U.S., including Landers McLarty Alfa Romeo of Huntsville, Alabama, have big plans for the brand's return here.
- The Alabama dealer will make a new dedicated space for the 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C the centerpiece of a $3-million remodeling project.
AUBURN HILLS, Michigan — Don't think sports-car fans are the only ones who are excited about the 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C, the first Alfa to be sold in the United States in more than 20 years. Dealers around North America, including 82 in the U.S., are making plans now that they've been named in the first wave of those given the Alfa Romeo franchise.
Mario Biundo, president and dealer-operator at Luxury Motor Cars, Ltd., which already sells Maseratis, told Edmunds the company's new franchise, Alfa Romeo of Walnut Creek, fits well with the "authentic Italian brand experience" the dealership is known for.
The luxury dealership made its desire to sell Alfa Romeos clear from the beginning, Biundo said.
"Alfa Romeo is a very historic Italian brand and most people who love cars have a particular romance of the past with it," Biundo said. "Those romances are still out there, and this car is 100 percent Italian and fits within my company's DNA. Today's Alfa will be the best it's ever been."
His dealership is planning launch events that, he suggests, will let customers try out the coupe, "in an environment that it has been designed for: the street, but also winding roads and the racetrack."
Biundo added: "The 4C is a sports car and we know our buyers will want to do more than just stare at it very fondly."
In Huntsville, Alabama, Landers McLarty Alfa Romeo of Huntsville Customer Relations Manager Kristian Chesser said the dealership's entire staff is being trained "so that we can be prepared to properly sell and service this amazing vehicle."
Unlike the Walnut Creek dealership, Landers McLarty is a mainstream dealer that currently sells Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Fiat, and Subaru brands. Moving upscale with the new Alfa Romeo, Chesser said, means "we would like to partner with high-end businesses" as well as local dignitaries, including the mayor of Huntsville, for the local unveiling of the 4C.
As the only Alabama Alfa Romeo dealer, and one of the few in the central U.S., Landers McLarty has already been a magnet for nostalgic customers.
"We even had one customer drive his restored 1960s Alfa up to the dealership and say we could put it on display in the showroom," Chesser said.
Of course, she adds: "He wanted to purchase our first one!"
Edmunds says: Alfa Romeo's U.S. dealers are getting ready for 4C fever.