What's Wrong With This Picture: Alfa's Comeback Strategy Edition

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Alfa’s four-year product plan has leaked to autoblog.it, and though it takes a little deciphering it confirms what we’d been hearing: that key Alfa products will be “Imported from Detroit” (to borrow a phrase). Here’s what we’ve been able to piece together: the 2012 models are the 4C “supercar” (note Alfa’s use of scare quotes around the term) and the Compact-Wide “C-SUV,” which will be built alongside the next-gen Jeep Compass and Patriot in Italy. Then, in 2013 the midsized Giulia sedan and sportwagon will debut, underpinned by the developed-in-Detroit next-gen 200/Avenger platform. That same year, the MiTo will gain five-door and convertible versions as well, with a more-mysterious D-SUV that will likely be closely related to the next-gen Jeep Liberty. Finally, in 2014 Alfa will update its C-segment Guilietta, at which point it should be ready for global (i.e. US-market) duty.

Which brings up an important point: this is Alfa’s European product plan, and US-market efforts could take a bit more time. And even for Europe this plan could be ambitious: Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has already reportedly rejected initial design s for the all-important Giulia midsizer, and seems to be waffling on whether it will be built in the US or Italy. In any case, the lineup seems set: a carbon-fiber Cayman competitor, a Tiguan/Q5 fighter (related to the next Compass/Patriot), followed by a midsized sedan/sportwagon (on the 200/Avenger platform), and a version of the next-gen Liberty. Needless to say, step one of the plan sounds lovely… the rest seems like a challenge of differentiation more than anything else. Especially if all of the planned models come to the US, where they’ll have to fit between a (very) similarly-revamped “luxury” Chrysler brand and “sporty” Dodge brand.

Join the conversation
3 of 19 comments
  • Dr Lemming Dr Lemming on Jun 21, 2011

    This plan would make more sense if Alfa was intended to replace the Chrysler brand in the US. Why three car brands? And why so much Alfa focus on SUVs? If the next-generation Liberty will still be on a "truck" platform, what justification is there for an Alfa variant? The group think in Fiat's management ranks must be exceptionally strong. Otherwise this plan would have long since been laughed out of the room. Has media attention gotten to Sergio's head? Or was he never quite as good as Fiat's press releases would suggest?

  • Speed_3 Speed_3 on Jun 21, 2011

    The reason there will be Chrysler, Dodge, and Alfa is b/c they decided not to "merge" the Alfa and Dodge brands as they are too different in personality (duh). Basically, most Dodge/Fiat products will be the same (Dodge Journey/Fiat Freemont) except for the boutique nameplates (Fiat will be a boutique brand in the US with 500 and Dodge will be a boutique brand outside US with the new Viper). All common vehicles will be basically the same. Chrysler/Lancia will also be the same brand, but of course entry-level luxury. Only Jeep and Alfa will truely be unique global brands. Whether any of the future products will be good is beyond me, but one can only hope.

  • Johnny ringo It's an interesting vehicle, I'd like to see VW offer the two row Buzz in the states also.
  • Chuck Norton And guys are having wide spread issues with the 10 speed transmission with the HP numbers out of the factory......
  • Zerofoo "Hyundais just got better and better during the 1990s, though, and memories of those shoddy Excels faded."Never. A friend had an early 90s Hyundai Excel as his college beater. One day he decided that the last tank of gas he bought was worth more than the car. He drove it to empty and then he and his fraternity brothers pushed it into the woods and left it there.
  • Kwik_Shift There are no new Renegades for sale within my geographic circle of up to 85 kms. Looks like the artificial shortage game. They bring one in, 10 buyers line up for it, $10,000 over MSRP. Yeah. Like with a lot of new cars.
  • Ribbedroof In Oklahoma, no less!