The story of the small Alfa that spoke Japanese

A compact vehicle of a lower segment at Alfasud, the Arna saw the light thanks to the joint venture between Alfa Romeo and Nissan Auto signed on October 9 th , 1980. The mechanical groups, with the exception of the rear suspensions, were produced by Alfasud, while the body was made in Japan by Nissan Cherry. By the time the body was ready to be assembled, a new plant in Pratola Serra (Avellino) had been founded, about 50 km from Alfasud.
The vehicle was presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1983 and accompanied by a rather unfortunate communication campaign that further enhanced the mistrust with which the vehicle had been met. However, what truly compromised the project after a production of little more than 58,000 units, was above all the variation in the exchange rate between Italian lire and Japanese Yen which soon made the joint venture with Nissan scarcely profitable.