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Who still knows him: the Alfa Romeo Arna


alfa-romeo-arnaDe Alfa Romeo Arna was a car built during the short-lived and loveless marriage between state-owned companies Alfa Romeo and the Japanese automaker Nissan.

"Arna" stands for Alfa Romeo Nissan Autoveicoli.

It weakened financially Alfa This gave Romeo a strong partner and for Nissan the project was an opportunity to gain a foothold in the Italian car market, which was difficult for Asian brands to access due to government protectionist measures.

The cooperation agreement was concluded on October 9 1980 in Tokyo.

alfa-romeo-arnaThe result was a cross between the front suspension and powertrain of the Alfa Sud and the rest of a Nissan Cherry. Manufacturing took place in the alfa factory and Naples and the result was marketed as Alfa romeo Arna or Nissan Cherry Europe. Only the brand emblems and the steering wheel differed.

And all Alfa Romeo aficionados thought it was an ugly and passionless thing. The typical Japanese interior did not help either. On the plus side, the Arna was lighter, so faster, than the Sud. Handling wasn't much worse than the Sud either.

Nissan enthusiasts found the Arna too exotic and poorly finished.

People who pay attention to the quality in general thought this was a bad Nissan. Alfisti thought it was ugly Alfa. In the interior, the ugly plastic dashboard had to be saved by a beautiful three-spoke Alfa send. Sales were sluggish.

After five years, Nissan had become sufficiently familiar with market and European politics to start its own factory in Sunderland.

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