USA TODAY: Alfa Romeo ready for U.S. comeback

From USA TODAY

Alfa Romeo ready for U.S. comeback

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — You’d think there was no hope for Fiat’s Alfa Romeo brand. Won races but lost money. Tried to cut costs by combining with other models, including Nissans, but flopped in showrooms. Kept plugging away and came off pretty well on styling, but otherwise so ho-hum that “our German competitors had built a phenomenal lead,” said Harald Wester, Alfa’s chief technology officer. To reverse that decline, he said, Alfa Romeo has created a “skunk works” run by two senior engineers from Fiat-owned Ferrari, and 200 engineers from the Fiat Chrysler company and some from outside — growing to 600 engineers next year. Alfa Romeo’s goals for those engineers: Beat the Germans, make money.

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