Fiat Chrysler to reveal first Alfa Romeo SUV next month

Alfa Romeo, which Fiat Chrysler has been trying to reestablish as a top luxury brand in the U.S. based on its Italian heritage and style, will reveal its first-ever SUV at the Los Angeles Auto Show next month.

In Europe, Alfa Romeo plans to begin selling an SUV called the Stelvio in 2017, according to The Stelvio is designed to compete with vehicles such as the BMW X3 and Audi Q5.

Fiat Chrysler declined to confirm the name of the SUV it will show at press preview of the Los Angeles show on Nov. 18 and 19.

CEO Sergio Marchionne announced plans in 2014 to launch eight new products by 2018 under a $7 billion plan to take on premium German brands such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

But Marchionne has had to delay the introduction of several models because of technical issues and because of changing industry trends in China, where the company hoped it would be able to become a significant player. Fiat pulled Alfa Romeo out of the U.S. in the mid-1990s. Alfa Romeo's sales were modest through the 1980s, peaking at 8,201 in 1986.

Alfa Romeo revealed the Giulia, its big, sexy sedan, in Milan, Italy, in June, 2015.

Fiat Chrysler listed seven Giulia sedans as "sold" in September but those units will actually either be used for marketing purposes or for testing and early feedback, according to a company spokesman.

Alfa Romeo began selling the 4C -- a small two-seat roadster -- in the U.S. in 2014 but only intends to sell about 1,000 per year in the U.S. The company has sold 411 4C's so far this year in the U.S.


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