It is one of the Italian giants of the auto industry. Theirs is a history of long-standing charged wins, happy coincidences, vibrant moments, but also peak moments, sad outcomes and occasional defeats. The brand has known since 1910 forging his name and fix it on the list of the best without option to revocation.
It continues to create cars of elegant design, excellent performance both in the city and on the race track. Founded in Milan, this manufacturer has not been oblivious to economic crises, reason why since 1987 such which is owned by the Fiat Group did other large industry such as Ferrari, Maserati and Lancia. The current plan is to return to the North American market which left in 1995.
Beginning of Alfa-Romeo
Alfa-Romeo was not consolidated as such but until 1920, after a curious connection of facts and unexpected twists. A Frenchman named Alexandre Darracq decided to take its car factory to Italy, seeing the success was having on his country. A place called Portello settles in Milan, epicenter of the automotive activity of Italy. The Darracq factory does not have much success in sales, so its delegate, Ugo Stella instructs the engineer Giuseppe Merasi the design of a car to the taste of the Italians.
He, knowing the language and with large dose of talent, created the 24HP. A Lombard entrepreneurs buy the plant Darracq in order to market this car, which becomes a hit in sales by its impressive qualities out in 1911. Change the name to Anonima Lombarda manufactures Automobili (Alpha). Merasi, with the approval still designing variations of the 24HP cars. So leave the 12HP, the Corsa 15HP, 15/20HP and 40/60 HP, the first sports of the brand, which made its debut in the Parma-Berceto race and won in its category.
Subsequent years of Alfa-Romeo
The arrival of the first world war produced the first crisis for Alpha. Nicola Romeo takes possession of the factory, placed by the majority of shareholders. Romeo had expertise in heavy equipment (compressors, military equipment, aircraft) and acquires the Soronno company which manufactured railway parts. This way Alpha goes into recess but reinforcing their knowledge on all types of machines. When the war ended, Alfa-Romeo Spa was officially formed.
The decade between 1920 and 1930 was important for the company that began to innovate, with ups and downs, new models. After this they modernized plants and built others in France, England, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary and Checolovaquia in order to grow its market, something that actually happened. Under the new command of IRI (Istituto per la Ricostruzione Industriale) and with the guidance of Ugo Gobbato yield the production of sports to Enzo Ferrari, who formed the team Alfa-Romeo. At this time also began to produce buses and to dabble in the aeronautical sector.
In this decade the Alfa-Romeo car entering competitions of racing, a turbulent time in which the tracks, not only were place of entertainment and healthy competition, but also a political space where Nazi Germany was faced with Mercedes-Benz, Auto Union against the Italian Ferrari, Maserati and Alfa-Romeo.
In the years 40?s, Alfa-Romeo was focused on vehicles for military purposes by temporarily suspending other types of production. Germany accused them of Collaborationism and the Portello plant was bombed three times. The factory was in rubble. In 1945, Ugo Gobbato was murdered in Milan by two individuals on the street.
Pasquale Gallo took control of the factory and it all started from scratch, again. In this hard time only produced a car, born in full turbulence but with excellent performance as always did Alfa-Romeo.
When came the year 1950, Alfa-Romeo had a single goal: the brand relaunch. With much effort, the Alfa-Romeo returned to power, above all thanks to major releases as the 1900 that captivated demanding markets. She had an invincible slogan: "the family car that wins races". Two birds with one stone, as he would say. The 1900 sold 20,000 units.
On the slopes, the models 158 and 159 "Alfetta" expire in their categories at the brand new Formula 1 World Championship. Everything was fine, but now would be better thanks to the cocky family, the Alfa-Romeo Guilietta Sprint, car that forged the trend to produce vehicles together with interior designers and designers of bodywork. The Guilietta Sprint marked a trend respected until today since then.
Even though his production has declined in the last ten years, the merger with Maserati suggests a rebound in sales of this classic brand. The goal would be to reach the U.S. market.