Fiat Chrysler to unveil Alfa Romeo SUV next month

Michael Wayland
The Detroit News

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV will debut its all-new Alfa Romeo SUV at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The SUV is considered a crucial part of the automaker’s plans to make the Italian brand a luxury player in the United States.

The company on Thursday confirmed the unveiling after LA Auto Show officials said the SUV is one of more than 50 vehicle debuts for the show’s press days Nov. 14-17.

Earlier this year it was reported Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said the SUV would be called the Stelvio.

Fiat Chrysler declined to comment on any details of the SUV, which is expected to be one of two major debuts for the company. The other is the North American debut of the all-new Jeep Compass, which made its global debut last month in Brazil.

Other confirmed debuts for the LA Auto Show include the turbocharged Civic Si from Honda, the new fifth-generation Land Rover Discovery and the pocket-size smart ForTwo Electric Drive cabriolet. Mercedes-Benz will show three models for the first time in the U.S., including the AMG GT Roadster, G550 4x4 Squared and the track-ready AMG GT R.

The Alfa Romeo SUV will be the brand’s second all-new vehicle since its return to the United States in 2014. The first was the Alfa Romeo Giulia, which arrived in domestic showrooms last month after several delays.

Under a $6.5 billion investment plan for Alfa Romeo, FCA had planned to introduce eight new vehicles by 2018 and increase sales more than fivefold to 400,000 vehicles globally, including going from roughly nothing to 150,000 in North America.

That plan has since been reevaluated and pushed back to 2020, following production and product delays as well as changing market conditions in China — one of the brand’s main launch markets.

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Twitter: @MikeWayland