Alfa 4c in China

Alfa Romeo got its first brand outing in China at the Guangzhou Auto Show. They showed the MiTo, Giulietta and the 4C “for 2012” presumably later in the year as the Guangzhou/Fiat joint venture is “two years away”. Alternatively they could be imported from Europe and therefore very expensive, thus limiting demand.

Locals report that traditionally Chinese car buyers pay premiums on imports car, if it is a premium car. But will a mainstream European hatchback be premium enough for the Chinese?

To build the Alfa Romeo brand from the bottom up in China will take a long time. While the MiTo and Giulietta will struggle to be seen as premium the locals think the 4Cwill suit the love of “everything fast and expensive”. If they can start with the Halo car and work backward the brand may build quickly.

There is also the problem of a dealer network - Fiat’s partner Guangzhou Auto could hamper any premium feel. Right pricing and local assembly joint venture solves the price point.

Be interesting to see whether Alfa Romeo think the 4c is premium enough to carry import duties....