The first Fiat car to arrive will be the 500, known as the Cinquecento, an update of the Italian classic from the 1960s that has earned comparisons to the more expensive Mini Cooper and has been a big hit since its introduction in Europe two years ago.
In Europe, the Fiat 500 sells for roughly 9,000 euros, or $12,000, on average. The Mini, made by BMW, sells on average for $25,600 in the United States.
Alfa Romeo will return with the MiTo, a compact now on sale in Europe, as well as the Milano, reviving a name from the 1980s and 1990s.
The Italians' saving grace has always been price, and their downfall was always taking direct aim at the likes of BMW and Mercedes. If they can mesh successfully with Chrysler, make cars at least as reliable as a Toyota, and priced less than their European competitors, they won't be able to build them fast enough.
Is a new Alfa in our future? Not immediately. Our current automotive need, such as it is, is not for a sedan or a micro-car, but instead for a truckster. If the oft-rumored Alfa crossover becomes a reality we'll likely be at the dealership with bells on. Until then, well, until then it'll just be nice to see the ol' cross-and-serpent in US dealerships.